Poll

If you could pick one of these...

Laser-Blaster (angled)
6 (35.3%)
Two new skills: Projectile constructive, projectile destructive (with same arc)
4 (23.5%)
Slider (either temporary or permanent)
6 (35.3%)
Jetboarder
1 (5.9%)

Total Members Voted: 17

Author Topic: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill  (Read 11161 times)

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Offline namida

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[DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« on: March 12, 2020, 09:29:42 am »
Okay, so, let's have an official topic for discussion of what the final new skill might be - as I have said I'd like to add one more to bring the total to a nice 20.

I'll keep a list in this first post of anything I've (a) ruled out, (b) stated could be considered, or (c) seems to be a strong contender.

The earliest this skill will be added will be V12.11.0. It might be later.

Past topics that might be of interest here (note that this does not mean I'm actively supporting any suggestions within; just mentioning them as potentially of interest - some of these have outright been rejected already):
- It's time to work towards a "final" version.
- Joke ideas for skills and objects (Most of these won't be suitable, but some at least could be made into serious ideas)
- Downward construction vs upwards destruction
- General suggestion thread
- Add L2 skills to NeoLemmix?
- Upward Digging: Relevance, Required Effort, and Alternatives
- Ideas for skills
- New skill: Farter
- Superstacker / Lightsaberer proposal
- Hookshotter proposal
- Shielder proposal
- "Remove permanent skills" skill proposal

Ruled out
- Anything involving changing the direction of gravity - too complicated to implement
- Anything that requires further input beyond "select the skill, select a lemming" - again, too complicated to implement
- Anything that has widespread effects on other skills used by the lemming (but "has one or two edge cases" or "has a special interaction with one or two other skills" is okay), including changing the speed of all actions in general
- Anything that includes, either as the primary effect or a secondary effect, killing lemmings other than the user (zombies or otherwise)
- Anything involving random or highly-chaotic factors (come on, I shouldn't have even needed to state this!)
- Skills that are identical to existing ones, except in terms of whether or not they're fatal to the lemming
- Reviving the Ghost feature as a skill - too complicated to implement, and ghosts proved to be not particularly useful in practice
- All L2 skills not listed below
- Skateboarder (see reply #2)
- Permanent-skill-remover skill - only ruled out as a skill, I'm still open to this as an object but that's a discussion for another time
- Rock Climber
- Runner
- Girderer (see reply #32)
- Sleeper (see reply #80)
- Creator (see reply #96)
- Resetter, or some reasonable variation thereof (see reply #80)
- Rocketer (see this topic) or some variation thereof
- Shielder
- Tank (zombieproof / trapproof / fireproof, but not waterproof, lemming)
- Tracer (see reply #149)
- Downward builder
- Hookshooter
- Jetboarder (see https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=4775.0)

Borderline
(None currently)

Strong contenders
- Laser-Blaster or Tunneller (Dedicated topic: https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=4768.0)
- Projectile constructive skill (such as Spear-Thrower) (Dedicated topic: https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=4754.0)
- Projectile destructive skill (such as Bazooka or Mortar) (Dedicated topic: https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=4770.0)
- Slider (Dedicated topic: https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=4713.0)
« Last Edit: June 06, 2020, 08:10:34 pm by namida »

Offline NieSch

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2020, 10:36:38 am »
Turbo lemming? Walker becomes runner. Most other skills will be performed two times as fast.
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Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2020, 12:15:53 pm »
Quote
Turbo lemming? Walker becomes runner. Most other skills will be performed two times as fast.

We've had previous discussions about the Runner and ended up rejecting its introduction, mainly because it only lends itself well to a) obnoxious timing-based solutions (i.e. that involve a lot of execution difficulty), or b) is only useful in combination with Jumpers (which we're going to have soon now, but again, the existence of a skill isn't really justified if it's only useful in combination with another skill).

However, in the Joke-Skills thread that namida thankfully linked to above :thumbsup: , one of the more serious suggestions I made was the Skateboarder. This is essentially a more versatile version of the Runner that provides a little more versatility than just a quickly-moving Walker. For the sake of simplicity, I just quote that part of my post below:

Quote
The Skateboarder. This one is inspired by Speedy Eggbert (the game which Jaimie's Techno and House tileset are taken from): The lemming gets on top of a skateboard, putting him at a slightly higher position than regular Walkers, as well as moving slightly faster. He can thus get over trigger areas of traps (or buttons you don't want to push yet, teleporters or splitters you want to avoid, etc.) that regular Walkers would walk into. In contrast to the Shimmier, he doesn't require a ceiling above his head to do this, plus he can be assigned more skills (Shimmiers can only be assigned the same skills as Fallers or Swimmers). For example, he could start bashing or fencing while still standing on his skateboard, creating a tunnel only he can reach (if the skateboard places him higher than 6 pixels above the ground; otherwise, he could get over traps and still create a tunnel accessible to regular Walkers). Admittedly, this might be difficult, because the assignment of the Basher or Fencer would stop him from being a Skateborder, therefore falling down.

What would definitely work though would be assigning a Builder or Platformer to a Skateborder, since those skills don't actually require terrain beneath the lemming's feet. He could thus start building or platforming in what would be mid-air for all the other lemmings, which can be a great way to isolate him from the crowd! :thumbsup:
Also, most prominently, you could assign a Jumper to a Skateboarder, who would consequently jump a little further than regular Jumpers.
In contrast to Speedy Eggbert, the Skateboarder would only bypass traps by not even hitting them in the first place; if Speedy Eggbert hits a (one-use) trap in his game, those get destroyed instead, while Eggbert remains on the skateboard and survives.

All in all, this skill would have all the properties of the Runner (increased moving speed + wider jumps), while still offering some additional applications.
So if anyone ever seriously contemplates adding the Runner to NeoLemmix, maybe consider the Skateboarder first...

Now let's go through the L2 skills namida is considering:

Quote
I'm willing to consider the following L2 skills, and no others:
- Laser-Blaster
- Sand Pourer - with the caveat that it doesn't consider existing terrain, and is essentially a just constructive skill that makes a small pyramid
- Bazooka / Mortar
- Slider - either as a permanent or non-permanent skill

The kid in me would obviously prefer the Laser Blaster. :thumbsup: Also the part in me who keeps going on and on about upward Digging.

The Slider however might be appealing to the more advanced players, because the question of how often a lemming turns around or can be turned around - even though it seems rather inocuous - is often crucial to many of the higher-rank puzzles of the most difficult custom packs we have.

The idea of making the Slider non-permanent would also introduce the option of having a non-permanent Floater/Glider type skill, kind of like Kayakers were non-permanent Swimmers in L2. Note that the Slider is a permanent skill in L2 though. So if it's implemented in its original L2 form, as another athletic skill, I'm not sure how much new design space that would create, even though I can see challenging puzzles arise from it. It's just that this type of challenge - how to turn a lemming around or prevent it from turning around - isn't a new one in and of itself, it's a very familiar concept.

Bazooka / Mortar would introduce the object of affecting terrain at a distance (aside from the Laser Blaster). Since those are only Bomber-size dents, however, I don't consider them particularly useful. Even without the annoying knockback effect from L2 (due to NeoLemmix having no tumbler physics), I wouldn't look forward to these quite as much.

The Sand Pourer honestly seems like the least useful of all the Pourer skills (admittedly, the Glue Pourer can be quite broken, and the Filler quite limited). It would be similarly limited in its use as the NeoLemmix Stacker, just slightly more comparable to the Builder, due to creating a walkable slope.
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Offline Proxima

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2020, 01:39:00 pm »
My thoughts on some of the possibilities that have been proposed so far. I'll go roughly in order, with ones I like most at the top.

Slider - I remember from QFK2 that the Slider had some interesting puzzle potential from the fact that it is forced to turn around when falling. That wouldn't apply if we made it non-permanent; on the other hand, a non-permanent Slider would give a way to get a single lemming down from a height without giving them a permanent skill. WillLem's jumper-into-slider idea also gives the skill a bit more traction. On the negative side: we already have two skills focused on getting down from a height; do we need a third?

Bazooker / Mortar - Not familiar with L2 so I'm not clear on the difference between these two, but I understand we're talking about skills that fire an explosive projectile. This would allow affecting terrain from a distance, which no current skill can do. The explosion could also kill zombies, to give it an additional utility (although that is a bit inconsistent, since the Bomber's explosion doesn't affect zombies; but a different animation could clue the player in to this difference). Strato mentioned that the Laser Blaster can make a dent in a ceiling, allowing the player to choose where a Shimmier will terminate; this would apply to a projectile skill as well (so long as the projectile is not fired horizontally -- and even then, it could affect where a Shimmier stops on sloped terrain).

Tunneller (upward digger) - I like an upward digger that moves into his own tunnel a bit more than the L2 Laser Blaster, since it creates possibilities for using this skill in the middle of the solution, to get a worker lemming where he needs to be, rather than just releasing the crowd at the end. (A Laser Blaster could climb his own tunnel after blasting it, but he would have to be a climber; like Strato, I feel a bit negative about skills that lean too heavily on other skills in this way.) Another possibility is a tunneller with a steep upward direction (e.g. 4:1) so that the crowd could walk up the tunnel; while that has clear utility, I'm worried it would end up lowering puzzle potential by making things a bit too easy.

Runner - I disagree with Strato in that I don't feel the community has ever decisively rejected this. I will look back at previous discussions to see what was said. The runner has been trialled in Lix, and is surely the least worthy of the Lix skillset. However, making the runner perform all actions twice as fast could make the skill a lot more interesting. I don't think we should ignore this before we've given it some real consideration.

Laser Blaster - I have misgivings about this skill because of the way L2 used it for releasing the crowd at the end, and nothing else. However, we shouldn't jump too quickly to the conclusion that it has no other utility. Strato has pointed out an interesting interaction with Shimmiers. Placing a laser correctly to alter the path of neutrals/zombies could also be an interesting puzzle space.

Sand Pourer - The proposal that the sand pourer should ignore existing terrain actually makes it less of a sand pourer and more similar to another L2 skill, the Planter, but making a simple pyramid of terrain instead of the awkwardly shaped plant. I can certainly see uses for this, but it doesn't feel groundbreaking when we already have a good range of constructive skills.

Downward builder - I like this even less because it's just yet another builder/platformer with a different direction.

Permanent-skill-remover - This works much better as an object.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2020, 02:55:36 pm »
Quote
Strato mentioned that the Laser Blaster can make a dent in a ceiling, allowing the player to choose where a Shimmier will terminate; this would apply to a projectile skill as well (so long as the projectile is not fired horizontally -- and even then, it could affect where a Shimmier stops on sloped terrain).

That would be the Mortar then. The Bazooker, at least to my knowledge, always shoots horizontally. The Mortar is one of my most hated skills in L2, though, because its trajectory is parabolic, i.e. hard to aim. There is one level in particular in the Beach tribe where you have to use several Bazookers first to get through a sand castle, then use several Mortars to shoot over a water pond and make a hole in the ground. It's one of the most obnoxious ones from L2. I would advise you to try that level first, since you said you aren't familiar with L2, before advocating for the Mortar or Bazooker. ;) Even though NeoLemmix would make these skills a little more tolerable thanks to rewinding and framestepping, we probably don't want to introduce a skill that more often than not has to actively rely on those features.

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Runner - I disagree with Strato in that I don't feel the community has ever decisively rejected this.

By "rejected" I mean that it was originally supposed to be introduced together with or around the same time as the Jumper - and as you can see, all that talk has disappeared for "just introducing the Jumper" instead. Another case of something that was never stated explicitly, but "acted out".

You are right that there has never been a poll on this. But it seems to me that the idea of the Runner being worthwhile in NeoLemmix was discarded so early, through the arguments championed in the posts of that thread, that the Runner never even made his way into a poll in the first place.

Quote
Laser Blaster - I have misgivings about this skill because of the way L2 used it for releasing the crowd at the end, and nothing else. However, we shouldn't jump too quickly to the conclusion that it has no other utility. Strato has pointed out an interesting interaction with Shimmiers. Placing a laser correctly to alter the path of neutrals/zombies could also be an interesting puzzle space.

Interesting point, I hadn't thought of that! :thumbsup: Since Neutral lemmings don't exist in L2, this has never come up so far. But a "boring pioneer / worker lemming" might indeed become somewhat less obvious when he has to free a crowd that, in contrast to a crowd of regular lemmings, couldn't simply help themselves towards the exit.
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Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2020, 03:13:26 pm »
Turbo lemming? Walker becomes runner. Most other skills will be performed two times as fast.

This is a good idea. :thumbsup:

the Runner... is only useful in combination with Jumpers (...the existence of a skill isn't really justified if it's only useful in combination with another skill).

Fair point, but I think that NeiSch's idea of a Turbo lemming would be more like SuperLemming from ONML, in that it would no doubt become a permanent skill (or maybe even cancellable by a Walker) and all skills performed by the Lemming from that point on would be done at double-speed. As a proponent of action/execution-based gameplay, I'm highly in favour of this.

one of the more serious suggestions I made was the Skateboarder. This is essentially a more versatile version of the Runner that provides a little more versatility than just a quickly-moving Walker.

This is also a good idea, if somewhat complicated - I like it in principle though. From your description, I understand that it acts as a Lemming-raiser whilst also separating them from the crowd and providing extra speed and longer jumps: definitely a lot of benefits if this could be made to work.

The Slider however might be appealing to the more advanced players

This is one of my favourite ideas, and I still think it's how a Jumper should interact with a wall, but I think we've moved on from that now. So... I'd suggest having the Slider as a non-permanent skill but one that can be used in combination with a Jumper: i.e., if assigned mid-jump, the Jumper lem would transition to a slider upon contact with the wall, thus opening up all of the various possibilities such as non-permanent no-Splat, ability to climb form this state, ability to perform wall jump from this state, etc. Loads of great potential for both puzzles and action-based gameplay.

a non-permanent Slider would give a way to get a single lemming down from a height without giving them a permanent skill. WillLem's jumper-into-slider idea also gives the skill a bit more traction. On the negative side: we already have two skills focused on getting down from a height; do we need a third?

I would suggest that if the Slider were to be non-permanent as well as being useful in combination with other skills (transition to/from Climber/Jumper), this would separate it enough from the Floater and the Glider.

Permanent-skill-remover - This works much better as an object.

Agreed! This is a brilliant idea. Happy to brainstorm some graphics if everyone's up for this. :thumbsup:
We could also have an object that rescues Lems from the zombie state (it could even be the same object - essentially, reset any Lem that walks through this).

I think upward diggers and downward builders would be somewhat underwhelming ideas for the 20th skill, useful though they may be. It would be nice to see something totally different. Projectile skills could be useful replacements for bombers and ways to kill zombies, so I'd probably put this higher in the list.

To summarise, my list in order of preference would be:

Lemming Re-setter Object (could do with a better name, obvs!) - cancels permanent skills and zombie state.

Slider - non permanent, able to transition to/from Jumper/Climber, possibly even a Glider that meets a wall.
Turbo Lemming - I really like this idea! The skill could apply until cancelled by a Walker, and affect all other skills assigned during its application (including Cloners - imagine that!)
Lightsaberer - I still think this would be great as a non-fatal bomber skill (and could also be used to kill zombies)! Due to its limited range of application beyond this though, I can see why it wouldn't be top of people's lists. Worth a mention though so thanks for the link, Namida.
Skateboarder - A good idea. It needs unpacking a bit, but it could work.
Bazooker - Good alternative to a bomber (for destroying horizontal terrain, at least) and useful for killing zombies.
All other skills mentioned above - I'm fairly indifferent towards most of the other mentions. There aren't any I'm particularly against, though.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2020, 03:31:42 pm »
Quote
Fair point, but I think that NeiSch's idea of a Turbo lemming would be more like SuperLemming from ONML, in that it would no doubt become a permanent skill (or maybe even cancellable by a Walker) and all skills performed by the Lemming from that point on would be done at double-speed.

The thing with SuperLemming from ONML is that it only features a single lemming - and actually, the entire game speed is increased. ;) So it's just like pressing down the fast-forward key. And the SuperLemming gimmick in NeoLemmix 1.43 (e.g. on the Hasty rank of Lemmicks) does precisely that.

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As a proponent of action/execution-based gameplay, I'm highly in favour of this.

I think now you've just made the majority of other forum users more likely to reject that proposal... :P

Quote
This is also a good idea, if somewhat complicated - I like it in principle though. From your description, I understand that it acts as a Lemming-raiser whilst also separating them from the crowd and providing extra speed and longer jumps: definitely a lot of benefits if this could be made to work.

Indeed, the vertical separation from the crowd through higher altitude as well as the ability to ignore traps, without straight-up disabling them for everyone (which is what often makes the Disarmer overpowered in my book), would be the Skaterboarder's main standout features. While these two things are partly shared with the Shimmier, the Skateboarder would be completely independent of whether there's a ceiling or not...

...while still having that interaction with the Jumper (=larger jumps), as well as all the speed-based execution stuff that you said you care about. ;) And yes, obviously you could also clone a Skateboarder.

In short: It would do everything the Runner does, and then some!

Only the faster execution of all skills (like the SuperLemming does) would not be included in the Skateboarder, but this isn't part of traditional Runner behaviour either. ;) It doesn't really make sense to assume that a lemming should become faster at e.g. bashing just because he happens to stand on a skateboard, or wear running shoes... :D

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Lightsaberer - I still think this would be great as a non-fatal bomber skill (and could also be used to kill zombies)! Due to its limited range of application beyond this though, I can see why it wouldn't be top of people's lists. Worth a mention though so thanks for the link, Namida.

Bazooker and Mortar would also be non-lethal Bombers (because the crater they create has the same shape), while adding the additional novelty of working at a distance. This gives them more "incremental validity" compared to your suggestion, I'd say. ;)

Quote
This is one of my favourite ideas, and I still think it's how a Jumper should interact with a wall, but I think we've moved on from that now. So... I'd suggest having the Slider as a non-permanent skill but one that can be used in combination with a Jumper: i.e., if assigned mid-jump, the Jumper lem would transition to a slider upon contact with the wall, thus opening up all of the various possibilities such as non-permanent no-Splat, ability to climb form this state, ability to perform wall jump from this state, etc. Loads of great potential for both puzzles and action-based gameplay.

This is definitely the best argument in favour of the Slider as a sovereign skill that I've heard so far! :thumbsup: I've always thought of the Slider as "just another Floater surrogate".
But maybe we should start to think of it more as a downward Climber. The Glider can technically be an upward Floater, after all, when combined with updrafts.

Corner cases for this logic:

a) A Jumper jumps over a gap and reaches the top of a wall on his downward move. Because he's on the downward path of his curved trajectory, he can get below the ceiling at the top of that wall without bumping his head. Now you make him a Slider as he holds on to the wall.

Now that he's right below the ceiling, would it be possible to assign a Shimmier, i.e. transition from Slider to Shimmier, before the lemming starts sliding further down? ;)

The ceiling would probably have to be a very short platform for this, otherwise the Jumper would bump his head, or simply land on top of it. With such a short ceiling, I don't necessarily know why you would want him to shimmy here, but anyways: Would it be possible?

b) A Slider is sliding down a wall. Now a second lemming, either a Platformer or a Builder, closes the gap above the Slider's head right after he's passed by. Like "The Great Lemming Caper" in reverse.

Again: Can you assign a Shimmier to a Slider?

I think on a purely technical level, both should be possible - even if scenario in a level where it is actually applicable would be pretty hard to design and pixel-precise to execute. ;)
« Last Edit: March 12, 2020, 03:37:29 pm by Strato Incendus »
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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: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2020, 06:45:27 pm »
Quote
Even though NeoLemmix would make these skills a little more tolerable thanks to rewinding and framestepping, we probably don't want to introduce a skill that more often than not has to actively rely on those features.

Skill shadows, too. That would be a huge factor in making these skills more tolerable than they were in L2.

I grouped the Bazooka and the Mortar together in the original post because they're basically the same thing except for the angle. I'm pretty open on what angle any NL implementation of such a skill might have, including the possibility that it doesn't match either skill's angle from L2. I'm also open to the idea of it firing multiple shots, which might make it a bit more useful than it is with just a single bomber radius.

One thing I will rule out though is any kind of "assign the skill, then select the angle" (as per "anything requiring additional input beyond select skill, select lemming" being ruled out). The angle - be it a striaght line or a parabolic trajectory - will be fixed.

I'll go through the topic again later to determine any "ruled out" or "particularly of interest" proposals.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2020, 06:54:48 pm by namida »

Offline Proxima

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2020, 07:41:59 pm »
By "rejected" I mean that it [the runner] was originally supposed to be introduced together with or around the same time as the Jumper - and as you can see, all that talk has disappeared for "just introducing the Jumper" instead. Another case of something that was never stated explicitly, but "acted out".

That's not quite right. In Nepster's 2017 poll that led to the acceptance of shimmier and jumper as "coming eventually", the runner received no votes, so it was never "supposed to be introduced". Of course, the lack of votes does indicate that the community was not very interested in it. But I still wouldn't take that as outright rejection -- firstly, we were limited to three votes, so anyone who liked the runner, but liked the shimmier and jumper more would have voted for them instead. Secondly, since a lot of features from that poll are in NL now, the poll doesn't give much indication of which features the community would now prefer to implement next.

I had a look back through old topics to see what had been said about the runner before the poll. There were probably other parts to the discussion, but the ones I found were:

"Fencer" skill? (July 2016) -- First proposal of adding more skills beyond the original 16. As well as the fencer itself, some other possibilities were brought up, including runner, jumper and shimmier.
Add L2 skills to NeoLemmix? (May 2017) -- mobius raises several possibilities and favours the jumper and runner. Nepster points out (and IchoTolot agrees) that the runner hasn't felt that useful in Lix.

Offline GigaLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2020, 12:00:30 am »
Here are my stances on a few of them

Blaster/Upwards Digger - This is something I wouldn't mind, I would definitely use this be useful in someways, we have Horizontal, both Diagonals, and straight down. Why not go for straight up?

Downward Construction -  A downwards builder is something I won't lose sleep over but would be fine if it was implemented

Runner - This could be an interesting permanent skill as it allows distance from the lemmings and it brings the SUPERLEMMING gimmick back as a skill, If this were the last skill implemented, I'd be happy with it.

Sheilder - This one is the most interesting considering that it can be both destructive and protective. Like immunity to zombies from one side is pretty cool


Sand Pourer - Not a fan of this one, I wouldn't see much use for this one as its range is too short and situational

Slider - This one sounds cool but I'm perfectly fine with the Floater and Glider we have

As for my suggestion
Gunner/a skill for killing zombies - Where ever direction they're walking is where they aim, one click and they'll take out a zombie, however the range is rather short. Though I understand if it wouldn't sound as useful as I thought

Those are my thoughts towards most of the options seen here, as for one more thing

Permanent Skill Remover - This is better off as an object like Proxima set and something I was gonna bring my old SlowFreeze and Radiations back as. A converter/remover object is something I wanted to toy with. This just wouldn't work as a skill.

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2020, 03:57:25 am »
Okay, here's what I'm ruling out so far:

Sand-Pourer - It seems there isn't much interest in this one, so let's stop talking about it.

Skateboarder - I definitely see why it's a fun idea, but it's going to have too many edge cases to deal with.

Permanent skill remover - It seems there's a strong consensus this would work better as an object type - while I'm not discussing new object types right now, in general I'm open to adding a couple more so keep a note of this for future discussion.



The only other one I want to specifically comment on at this stage:

Zombie killing skill - I don't know that this would be particularly popular, especially given that zombie levels remain relatively rare. However, I'm not outright rejecting this idea, especially if there's a proposal that kills zombies, has useful effects in non-zombie levels, and both of these are logical effects of the skill. Or, if the only effect is zombie-killing, then if I'm convinced enough that it'll increase the popularity of zombie levels by implementing it, that could work too. One possibility: Perhaps a skill that provides some useful effect, but also kills all lemmings (zombies included, but not exclusively) in its path. This would have interesting use cases in normal levels, while remaining an extremely useful tool for zombie levels too. (These are all just vague thoughts at this stage, though.)

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2020, 01:40:56 pm »
I know I brought up Zombie killing in the joke ideas for skills thread, but that was precisely the point of the joke - Zombie levels are rare, as you said, so a skill like the Gunner / Gunman / Sniper etc. that does nothing but killing Zombies would be even more limited in its application than the Disarmer we have now.

The only skills mentioned in this thread that I could see being both useful for the destruction of terrain AND Zombies would be the Laser Blaster and the Bazooker / Mortar. Namely because all of them destroy at a distance, which is kind of crucial if a lemming wants to survive the encounter with a Zombie. For example, even if one were to introduce the option that Miners could kill Zombies by hitting them with their pick, the Miner would still be touched by the Zombie and therefore infected himself.

If the Laser Blaster or Bazooker / Mortar would also kill regular Lemmings or even Neutrals, however, this would be a severe drawback that would probably also make people less likely to use this skill for regular terrain destruction.

So if these terrain-destructive skills are also Zombie-destructive, the killing behaviour should remain restricted to Zombies. ;)
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Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2020, 04:28:30 pm »
Quote
I think that NeiSch's idea of a Turbo lemming would be more like SuperLemming from ONML, in that it would no doubt become a permanent skill (or maybe even cancellable by a Walker) and all skills performed by the Lemming from that point on would be done at double-speed.

The thing with SuperLemming from ONML is that it only features a single lemming - and actually, the entire game speed is increased. ;) So it's just like pressing down the fast-forward key. And the SuperLemming gimmick in NeoLemmix 1.43 (e.g. on the Hasty rank of Lemmicks) does precisely that.

It's my understanding that a Turbo-Lemming skill would only apply to a single Lemming within the level, making it different from the SuperLemming gimmick.

It would also be different from a Runner because it would increase the speed of everything the Lemming does, once applied.

On that basis, Turbo-Lemming would be useful for:

- Separating a Lemming from a crowd by making them go faster.
- Increasing the speed of any skill performed by that Lemming thereafter (until a Walker is assigned to the Lemming, at which point I'd suggest that the Turbo skill could be cancelled).
- Getting stragglers to the exit quicker (great for time-based solutions!).
- If pre-assigned in a level with no Walkers available, it would be a fun way to bring back the SUPERLEMMING gimmick.

Of the remaining skills being considered, then, I'm most strongly in favour of Slider and Turbo-Lemming (slightly leaning more towards Turbo-Lemming, the more I think about it...)

Offline ∫tan x dx

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2020, 06:58:03 pm »
The topic of new skills has been on my mind for some time recently, and I would like to present a few ideas and thoughts of my own:

Most of these skills are taken directly from Lemmings 2 or other games, with only minor tweaks. If you are familiar with such skills, then you can pretty much guess at what they do.
I've organised them into spoiler tags so as to prevent an overly long post.

The Ballooner
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

The Archer
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

The Rock Climber
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

The Kayaker
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

The Flamer (name pending)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

The Rusher
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

So what do you think? I'd love to hear feedback/criticisms/improvements that anybody has.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2020, 07:00:55 pm »
I already covered the subject of L2 skills in the first post:

Quote
I'm willing to consider the following L2 skills, and no others:
- Laser-Blaster
- Bazooka / Mortar
- Slider - either as a permanent or non-permanent skill

(Sand pourer was also on this list, but was removed due to a fairly strong consensus so far that it wasn't a good choice.)

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2020, 11:14:44 am »
@∫tan x dx: I'll quickly comment on each of those:

The Ballooner: I don't see how this skill would do anything that a Glider in an updraft couldn't accomplish as well?

The Archer: Already ruled out because it would require "assign the skill, assign the direction" in order to be as versatile as needed. ;)

The Rock Climber: Since we've already modified the Climber to have many of the behaviours that are unique to the Rock Climber in L2 (transitioning to Shimmier, holding on to walls after jumping etc.), and because Shimmiers can also cover those 45-degree slopes (just looking in the other direction), I think this skill would have even less to offer now than it would have had in direct comparison to the more limited L2 Climber.

The Kayaker: Of course, in general it would be interesting to have a non-permanent version of each permanent skill (as in the gimmick "non-permanent skills" back in NeoLemmix 1.43 / on the Ephemeral rank of Lemmicks), but since we only have one more skill we can add, I think it would be a waste to use this last slot for something so minor.

The Flamer: In the joke-skill-suggestion thread that namida linked to in the opening post, I already suggested something similar that would be a little more versatile than just being resistant to fire objects. This skill was called the Tank (a lemming covered in armour / metal plating) and would also make the assigned lemming immune to triggered traps and zombies. His weak spot would be water, because he would still drown. And I even said it would be debatable whether it should be possible at all to assign a Swimmer to a Tank, or whether those to skills should be just as mutually exclusive as Floater and Glider. Speaking of Gliders, if the logic is that the Tank can't be a Swimmer because he's too heavy, he probably shouldn't be able to use updrafts either. That begs the question whether it should be impossible to assign Gliders and/or Floaters to the Tank, too, and whether his armour would prevent him from splatting by itself already, or whether splatting would be another weakness of this skill. Maybe he would even splat after falling out of an updraft, because the updraft wouldn't reset his fall height as it does for other lemmings. But those are detail issues I think we could postpone discussing until we actually decide whether we want to pick the Tank as the 20th skill.

Quote from: Strato Incendus
The Tank. A permanent skill which makes a lemming invulnerable to fire objects and triggered traps. The animation would be a lemming covered in metal plating. As such, this lemming could still drown in water areas. It would be debatable whether he could still be turned into a Swimmer, as "drowning in water" is just a regular behaviour this lemming would keep, like any other lemming - or whether it should be made explicitly impossible by making Swimmer and Tank mutually exclusive, much like Floater and Glider. In contrast to the Disarmer, it's only this individual lemming that gets immune to traps, which seems to have more uses than disabling the trap for good once a single Disarmer touches it.
Also, the Tank could safely walk among Zombies without getting infected - but wouldn't actually end up killing them. He'd simply pass through them.
All in all, this is similar to what Ghosts used to be, except that Tanks can of course still interact with exits and other objects (pickup skills, buttons, splitters, teleporters etc.). Ghosts would also ignore water, which is still lethal and thus the Achilles's heel of the Tank. Finally, Ghosts encountering zombies would end up intimidating those just like regular lemmings, causing the zombies to turn around, whereas the Tank would just ignore them and walk right through them. He could be assigned a Blocker, though, to turn zombies around.

While being able to walk through fire, traps, and zombies bears some resemblance to Ghosts, which namida has already ruled out, he did mention the Tank as worthy of consideration. In contrast to Ghosts, the Tank can still interact with most other objects, such as pickup skills and exit buttons. You could also make him walk over one-use traps to disable them without having to sacrifice a lemming. The Tank would be less "overkill" than the Disarmer when it comes to traps, because only this individual lemming would be safe from them, rather than disabling triggered traps that aren't one-use traps for good. So the crowd would still have to find a different path than e.g. a Tank pioneer.
Also, the Tank wouldn't display all this less-intuitive behaviour about Ghosts, like not being able to be saved (because the Tank wouldn't ignore exits, in contrast to Ghosts), nor would he have this unintuitive "intimidation" behaviour.

Speaking of unintuitive skills ;) :

The Rusher: I'm sorry, but the ways you proposed how this skill would affect the execution of every other skill seem quite random to me. Simply performing skills faster is one thing, and I think all that is currently being proposed under the term "Turbo Lemming" here. But this speed coming at the cost of less efficient skill performance, while nice in theory, affects all the other skills in so vastly different ways that it would become pretty much unpredictable to a new player how any given skill would perform if assigned to a Rusher. Even once he has tried out every single other skill (which there would be 19 of at that time! ;) ) in combination with the Rusher, that's still a lot more combinations than he will be able to memorise quickly. (Human working memory can usually only hold 7 +/- 2 different items.)
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Offline Proxima

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2020, 11:30:08 am »
Another old "ideas for skills" topic that could be looked over. (Although I have given it a look myself, and nothing really stood out, it's still good to have it on the list for completeness.)

Offline ccexplore

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2020, 01:44:55 pm »
The Rusher: I'm sorry, but the ways you proposed how this skill would affect the execution of every other skill seem quite random to me.

Not to mention that it'd make the programming much more work compared to probably even all the other proposals namida already rejected, to say nothing of the likely higher number of bugs to work through due to how many other existing skills would receive changes in their programming.  So although I'm not namida, I'm pretty sure this is a no-go even just from an implementation standpoint.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2020, 04:43:16 pm »
Does this put the Tank on the table, though? ;) Since two members now suggested something along those lines, and namida actively called it a proposal that could serve as a legitimate basis for a skill.

I'm not asking this because the Tank happens to be my invention :P - as I said before, I would be perfectly fine with "just" another L2 skill - I simply want to know whether it should be added to the list of options we're considering right now.
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Offline Proxima

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2020, 05:08:57 pm »
It's not my call, but I would say yes, everything that's not explicitly ruled out is still on the table.

I'm hesitant about any "immunity to fire" skill simply because it's what Simon has termed a "key skill" -- not in the sense of "important", but as in "red key to open red door, blue key to open blue door". The Tank's immunity to traps and zombies makes it a little bit more than an anti-fire skill, but since I don't use zombies anyway, and the only difference between traps and fire is that we already have ways to get a lemming to the other side of a trap (disarmer or compression method)... not enough to win a vote in my book.

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2020, 06:45:49 pm »
While nothing so far has particularly jumped out at me in terms of the idea alone (I haven't looked too closely at popularity yet), Proxima is correct: If I haven't specifically said it's ruled out, it isn't ruled out at least for now.

But I'm going to drop one more "general" rather than specific rule-out: Anything that has widespread effects on other skills used by the lemming (but "has one or two edge cases" or "has a special interaction with one or two other skills" is okay; think along the lines of the Climber->Jumper / Jumper->Climber special cases, things like that are fine).

This would include things like the Rusher or any other "Superlemming by another name" skill.

EDIT: I'm also going to rule out Rock Climber on the grounds of being too similar to the normal climber. I know this would be covered under "all other L2 skills" anyway, but I feel (accurately or not?) that it's been at least referenced enough times here that I should specifically name it as rejected.

Offline Proxima

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2020, 07:15:31 pm »
For clarity: does "widespread" mean "diverse", like the way the proposed Rusher has a different interaction with every skill, or are you also ruling out skills that have the same effect on every other skill, like the proposed Turbo Lemming? If the latter, can I ask what's the reasoning behind this? (While it's not my leading candidate by a long shot, I think it has at least enough merit not to be ruled out yet -- but I don't know how complicated it would be to code, which seems like it might be the determining factor.)

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2020, 07:28:48 pm »
For clarity: does "widespread" mean "diverse", like the way the proposed Rusher has a different interaction with every skill, or are you also ruling out skills that have the same effect on every other skill, like the proposed Turbo Lemming? If the latter, can I ask what's the reasoning behind this? (While it's not my leading candidate by a long shot, I think it has at least enough merit not to be ruled out yet -- but I don't know how complicated it would be to code, which seems like it might be the determining factor.)

It doesn't make much difference whether it's the same effect on every skill or not, as it still needs to be implemented and tested for every skill. So - yes, this includes "same effect on every skill" situations.

Offline GigaLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2020, 10:51:54 pm »
With all these choices, Should this be put up to a vote? like once a good selection is decided for a poll?

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2020, 11:11:41 pm »
But I'm going to drop one more "general" rather than specific rule-out: Anything that has widespread effects on other skills used by the lemming... This would include things like the Rusher or any other "Superlemming by another name" skill.

Have I read this correctly... does this mean Turbo Lemming is a definite no? :(

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2020, 11:54:29 pm »
With all these choices, Should this be put up to a vote? like once a good selection is decided for a poll?

That'll come in due time. There's no rush here - this kind of physics update will only come in odd-numbered versions, and I've already stated that the 20th skill won't be coming in V12.9.X, therefore, the soonest it'll happen is V12.11.X which won't be until near the end of the year.

But I'm going to drop one more "general" rather than specific rule-out: Anything that has widespread effects on other skills used by the lemming... This would include things like the Rusher or any other "Superlemming by another name" skill.

Have I read this correctly... does this mean Turbo Lemming is a definite no? :(

Yes, Turbo Lemming is out of the question sorry - as stated, this is more due to implementation complexity than anything else.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #26 on: March 16, 2020, 04:51:12 pm »
I must say I'm growing more and more fond of the Slider idea... 8-)

The thing is, back in L2, I usually hated this skill, because more often than not, it ended up backfiring, by turning a lemming into a state where he couldn't be saved anymore, because he would always turn around at the wrong places and thereby lock himself out of a level. There is one Egyptian level in particular where IchoTolot explicitly mentioned this in his Let's Play (saying "so we just don't make him a Slider").

While drawbacks make a skill interesting, of course, this is also something that might make people hesitant to actually assign a Slider to a lemming - if it is a permanent skill like in L2, at least. In that case, people would probably go with a Floater or Glider first before trying a Slider, if either of the former are available in a given level.

However, thinking of the Slider more as a downward Climber than a surrogate Floater instead, this would open up many new interesting interactions, especially with the Jumper, now that jumping-off a wall seems to be just as agreed-upon as jumping towards a wall.

- You could have drops which are deadly, but because there are no Floaters, Gliders, or Stoners, and the wall on the side the lemming is coming from doesn't have a straight edge, you actually need to jump across a gap to the other side in order to give the lemming a wall to hold on to so that he can slide down safely.
- You could have straight walls where a lemming can slide down and then, before he actually reaches the ground, jumps off into some tunnel in a wall on the other side.

Both of these seem particularly fitting now that WillLem has created the Lara Croft sprites precisely according to my instructions! :thumbsup:

The Slider being a permanent skill would still be an interesting option, of course, enforcing turning-around consistently. Just like being a Climber can be a drawback if it causes a lemming to go over a wall and die in a place where every other normal lemming would simply turn around on said wall, being a Slider and looking in the wrong direction compared to everybody can still result in interesting puzzles.

It just seems like L2 in particular had a hard time creating such good puzzles, so that the Slider often ended up in a state where it was so risky to use that the better advice was simply to not use it at all.

But as said before, the Slider would not be the only skill whose potential was extremely wasted by L2. Even the Laser Blaster, as limited as it might seem in its application, still has a wider range of use (like the aforementioned "dent the ceiling to cut off the Shimmier" example) than L2 manages to explore successfully.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2020, 10:45:07 pm by Strato Incendus »
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Offline geoo

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #27 on: March 16, 2020, 06:55:21 pm »
Just wanted to chip in as I've played Quest from Kieran in Lemmings 2 which heavily featured the slider in one or two tribes as well as the bazooka/mortar/laser blaster (and which I recommend everyone to play btw, it's an excellent pack):

The slider was crucial to many puzzles. In particular, the fact that the slider is a permanent skill and that it turns around at the bottom of a cliff would separate it from lemmings walking the same way, which could be key to solutions or foil various other solution attempts. Unlike the floater, it can't get down a thin platform high above the floor, but on the other hand can be used to get down to a lower platform if two platforms are on top of each other and their edges are aligned, and in conjunction with the shimmier it can climb on the underside of platforms (I believe it also slides down walls if a shimmier bumps into a wall). I don't know how the jumper interacts with the climber in NeoLemmix (climber sticks when jumping into a wall? climber can jump off a wall?) but if these behaviours are implemented, the slider could be consistent with those (i.e. starting to slide when jumping into a wall/slider can jump off walls).

Both mortar/bazooka and laser blaster on first glance seem more useful than the slider, but after playing QFK the slider is definitely more memorable to me, somehow.

On a more general note, "20 is a nice round number" is a horrible reason to have exactly 20 skills. I would argue if the discussion doesn't bring up any fully convincing skill sticking with 19 is preferable; similarly if multiple very strong candidates come up (they might even interact or complement each other in some way) then adding more than 1 is preferable.

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #28 on: March 16, 2020, 07:10:01 pm »
Quote
I don't know how the jumper interacts with the climber in NeoLemmix (climber sticks when jumping into a wall? climber can jump off a wall?) but if these behaviours are implemented, the slider could be consistent with those (i.e. starting to slide when jumping into a wall/slider can jump off walls).

The Jumper is still a WIP skill that isn't released (even in experimental builds) yet. But, it's looking like both those behaviours will be allowed.

Quote
On a more general note, "20 is a nice round number" is a horrible reason to have exactly 20 skills. I would argue if the discussion doesn't bring up any fully convincing skill sticking with 19 is preferable; similarly if multiple very strong candidates come up (they might even interact or complement each other in some way) then adding more than 1 is preferable.

Basically - I'm wanting to wrap up new features in the near(ish) future. Some people said they'd like to bring it to 20 skills as a nice round number - I'll note not only is 20 a nice number itself, but it's also exactly double the maximum amount of skills allowed in a single level. To me, it's not the end of the world if we do stay at 19 skills, but I'm willing to do one more - and while not all the ideas so far have been particularly great, some definitely have a lot of potential so I don't think it's likely the end decision will be "no 20th skill". But; I don't want to keep ending skills endlessly - sure, L2 proves not every idea you can think of is a good one, but given enough time there's likely far more than 20 good ideas. The line has to be drawn somewhere; this is where I'm (somewhat arbitrarily) choosing to draw it.



At this point, I'm putting the Slider into skills I'm specifically considering. This is not specifically "permanent skill Slider" or "one-off Slider", just "some kind of Slider".
« Last Edit: March 16, 2020, 07:18:59 pm by namida »

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #29 on: March 21, 2020, 08:57:24 am »
I think the issue of permanent vs. non-permanent can be discussed separately again if we decide that the Slider, in one form or another, is indeed going to be the 20th and final skill.

That said, most talk in this thread indeed seems to be about the Slider.

Are there still any strong competitors? New suggestions?

Or could namida already set up a poll? ;)
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Offline mobius

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #30 on: March 21, 2020, 11:42:04 pm »
My favorites are slider and runner if it's implemented like this:

Turbo lemming? Walker becomes runner. Most other skills will be performed two times as fast.
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Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #31 on: March 22, 2020, 01:04:15 am »
I've split off any "how might the Slider work" discussion into a seperate topic: https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=4713.0

Note that, while the Slider seems to be the strongest candidate so far, the creation of the above topic is not a guarantee that the Slider is going to happen.

Unless it's directly relevant to considering the Slider vs other options, no further discussion of how the Slider should or shouldn't behave in this topic please - take it to the other topic instead.

Offline Minim

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #32 on: March 22, 2020, 06:41:24 am »
Haven't posted my thoughts on the final new skill yet, so here I go.

I mentioned about a ladder skill a moment ago. I call this skill a "Girderer" although I'm sure somebody can come up be better names. A right-facing lemming builds a 6-pixel vertical tile, jumps on top of it, and creates another tile to the right of its peak, and so on. It could be overpowering, so we could limit this to 6 tiles, therefore the skill will make the terrain 31 pixels high and 6 pixels long.

If this materialises, it would be a great alternative to give lemmings better upwards access!
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Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #33 on: March 22, 2020, 06:58:23 am »
Okay, so I've looked over the proposals in this topic again. I've added a "willing to consider" list to the first post, to make it clear that certain ideas have been seen and not specifically ruled out.

If you've made / seen a suggestion that isn't listed anywhere in the first post, please feel free to bring it up again (and perhaps point me towards the posts discussing it).

For the Girderer, I feel an explanation is worthwhile as to why it's rejected - this is essentially just a skill that performs a stacker-walker-stacker-walker-etc cycle. Therefore, I don't feel it's offering that much value as a new skill, and would rather something that does offer a bit more than this.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #34 on: March 22, 2020, 07:39:50 am »
A right-facing lemming builds a 6-pixel vertical tile, jumps on top of it, and creates another tile to the right of its peak, and so on...
If this materialises, it would be a great alternative to give lemmings better upwards access!

Haha, I like that you're suggesting this after all that stack-building we did in the new-skills challenge. :crylaugh: ;P

Offline Proxima

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #35 on: March 22, 2020, 02:11:42 pm »
If you've made / seen a suggestion that isn't listed anywhere in the first post, please feel free to bring it up again (and perhaps point me towards the posts discussing it).

Hookshotter seems not to be listed, unless you intended "or another zombie-killing skill" to cover it. But it's primarily a movement skill with a suggestion that we could give it zombie-killing as a side effect.

That said, with the Shimmier and Jumper already giving lemmings much more horizontal mobility, I'm not convinced the Hookshotter would add all that much. Still, it's the only suggestion I've made, so I don't want it to be entirely forgotten 8-)

* * *

I just had a thought. In my Hookshotter proposal, I suggested (just as an idea, not as an essential part of the skill concept) that the lemming should fire in the direction of motion: forwards normally; upwards during the Shimmier's "reach"; diagonally upwards while jumping.

How about applying the same direction-choice mechanic to the Laser Blaster? That would give us multiple directions without requiring another player action, and give the skill a bit more versatility 8-)
« Last Edit: March 22, 2020, 02:21:16 pm by Proxima »

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #36 on: March 22, 2020, 04:07:11 pm »
Alright, here are my 2 cents to the final skill thing. :P

My choice would be a ranged skill, like:

The L2 spear thrower.


Why?

Because no other skill can create terrain over a distance and I think range could be a very powerful tool.

In NL I would vision him throwing his spear without running before throwing. The arc is always the same regardless of updrafts and the spear will stick to the first pirece of terrain it hits.

I see combination possibilities with stoners placed in mid air for example, but I think the range itself is the most useful thing.



I my opinion a ranged skill would provide more variety than a slider for example, as it does share quite a few similarities to other skills as the floater. So I would even go for the bazooka rather than the slider and to be honest even if reading the slider topic and the posts here I don't see too much potential in it.

All in all, I would either aim for a (spear)-thrower or a bazooka/mortar skill and maybe even both to have the possibility for ranged terrain creation and destruction. :)

EDIT: Moved the post as I posted in the wrong topic. :-[

Thinking about it more I can even see combinations with destructive skills that make a tunnel through which the projectile can then fly through.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #37 on: March 22, 2020, 06:26:41 pm »
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Hookshotter seems not to be listed, unless you intended "or another zombie-killing skill" to cover it. But it's primarily a movement skill with a suggestion that we could give it zombie-killing as a side effect.

Fixed. I'll note that I'm not particularly keen on that idea myself, but I don't see any reason to outright rule it out, so if there's interest it can be considered. The "sets off traps" idea will be too much hassle, as you expected, though I am open to "not affected by traps" (because he slips past too fast, or is slightly off the ground, or just "because that's what the hookshooter does") if this seems to be the preference.

I'm unsure about specifically singling out zombies here. There's nothing about a hookshot that would inherently be dangerous to zombies but nothing else, or that would provide the kind of control needed to only hit zombies. That's not to say the idea is outright rejected, but it does feel a bit weird to me. On the other hand, if it simply kills any lemming in the way, that might have some potential.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #38 on: March 22, 2020, 10:23:32 pm »
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My choice would be a ranged skill, like:

The L2 spear thrower.

Ah, yeah - I forgot that the Spear Thrower is instant, in contrast to the Archer which requires double-clicking (assign the skill, assign the direction). Since namida already ruled out the latter, skills like the Spear Thrower (and I believe also just the regular Thrower, which throws some kind of ball?) had completely fallen out of my radar.

The Spear Thrower would definitely also make more sense as a "Zombie-killer" skill, compared to the Hookshotter! :evil:

However, my main two arguments against it would be:


1) The amount of versatility the Slider promises to add seems hard to beat. While the Slider, as you said, wouldn't add anything completely new (which can also be a benefit, btw, as it's easier to understand for new players and will fit in more organically with the existing skills), the interactions with Jumpers, Shimmiers, Climbers etc. and just the challenges arising from turning the lemming around as needed promise countless amounts of new puzle potential.

2) This "who says A must also say B" logic:

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All in all, I would either aim for a (spear)-thrower or a bazooka/mortar skill and maybe even both to have the possibility for ranged terrain creation and destruction.

Similarly to the upward Digger / downward Builder discussion, this is another case where it would feel weird to have one but not the other. Why just distant construction, but not distant destruction? Or the other way round?

You also seem to already plan to some extent how distant construction and distant destruction could interact:

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Thinking about it more I can even see combinations with destructive skills that make a tunnel through which the projectile can then fly through.

But since we pretty much know there's only going to be a single further skill, this feels a bit like using the "foot in the door" technique on namida, or, as expressed in German, "wanting the entire arm when somebody hands you the little finger". Meaning: Requesting yet another favour after having already received one. ;)



The thing is: For the longest time, I thought new skill additions would just outright end after the Jumper. Now we seem to agree that 20 is a nice number to round out the skill panel, so that is already a pleasant surprise for me, because it means one skill more than expected.

Thus, if I were namida, I'd be hesitant about agreeing to skill suggestions that kind-of have a potential follow-up skill already built-in by design. :P

This is obviously not something I merely say to "discredit" your suggestion, because it affects one of my suggestions (upward Digging / downward Building) equally. ;)

It's just that I have pretty much moved on from this initial suggestion of mine, and even from my personal pet skill that is the Laser Blaster, because other people have successfully convinced me of the Slider's puzzle potential.



Although I must admit that this

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I just had a thought. In my Hookshotter proposal, I suggested (just as an idea, not as an essential part of the skill concept) that the lemming should fire in the direction of motion: forwards normally; upwards during the Shimmier's "reach"; diagonally upwards while jumping.

How about applying the same direction-choice mechanic to the Laser Blaster? That would give us multiple directions without requiring another player action, and give the skill a bit more versatility

sounds quite interesting when it comes to the Laser Blaster. ;)


But if I had to choose, I'd still go with the Slider over the Laser Blaster. The Laser Blaster is so different from anything else that it's more like something a different person than namida might pick up eventually - let's say the introduction of the Jumper sparks Nepster's interest again and he decides to take over after the 20th skill has been implemented. ;) Probably a bad example, I know, because my guess is that Nepster would be much more reluctant (and also slower) than namida when it comes to adding new things in general.

Either way, if NeoLemmix development indeed stops for all eternity, after version 12.11 that adds the 20th skill, if that skill is the Slider, it would also be fine - because the Slider doesn't implicitly "demand" the introduction of yet another skill as its counterpart. Whereas both the upward Digger / downward Builder and the Spear Thrower / Bazooker duality kind of do. ;)
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Online IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #39 on: March 22, 2020, 11:16:58 pm »
Quote
The Spear Thrower would definitely also make more sense as a "Zombie-killer" skill, compared to the Hookshotter!

No interactions with zombies intended in my idea.

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1) The amount of versatility the Slider promises to add seems hard to beat.

I don't think the slider has much versitility to begin with. Also, I just see a ton of edge cases  in the posts that a user has to learn so it's complicated to fully gasp.

But let me explain why the slider mostly provides a ton of redundant interactions that we can already achieve:

1.) A slider + jumper could be subsituted by a glider in a lot of design cases. Updrafts can also help to correct the trajectory.

2.) The turnaround of a slider can be substituted with a walker. In the case of 2 horizontal platforms parallel to each other a glider + cloner does the trick.

3.) If you want to simply get down: Floater/glider/updraft + maybe a walker/cloner

4.) Interruption of a climber. We have the jumper option now. You can design keeping the arc in mind.

5.) Jumper -> sliider: Jumper + floater should achieve similar things.

The only thing that remains is:

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in conjunction with the shimmier it can climb on the underside of platforms

And that's not enough in my opinion. Also:

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transitioning from a Slider to a Shimmier at the bottom of a vertical drop, i.e. at the last possible frame before the Slider lets go of the wall and turns back into a Faller

This is again very precise.

Now you can bring something like this up again:

Quote
Turns out this is indeed standard Shimmier behaviour in L2 for both the Climber and the Rock Climber. And it's extremely useful.

Whenever I want to accomplish something remotely comparable in NeoLemmix, I have to fiddle around a lot, by doing the following:

- send TWO Shimmiers rather than one
- the first one drops at the end of the platform and becomes a Stoner
- the second Shimmier lands on top of the Stoner
- now that second Shimmier needs to turn around somehow (Walker?)
- build a stack to close the gap between Stoner and ceiling / wall
- climb up the stack and then the wall

So in current NeoLemmix, this same outcome requires two Shimmiers, one Stoner, one Walker, one Stacker, and at least one Climber. That's FIVE out of ten possible skill types just to pull of this basic maneuvre!

This is the most extreme case you brought up there and even this can still be accomplished with the current tools.


So you see the slider as described so far is only versitile on the surface. In reality a ton of the interactions are quite redundant and similar to the things we have now.

Also with all the jumper, climber and shimmier stuff we already have, a slider on top of this makes the game a bit too parcury for my liking.


Why not instead add something diffreent this time? ???  We don't have a single ranged skill!

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2) This "who says A must also say B" logic:

I don't think this is a negative at all! The one can exist without the other. I just imagined that the code would be quite similar anyway as the arc should probably be the same for both.

To convince you more in terms of puzzle potential here are some examples for both skills that I just know thought of without much thinking around:

- Stoners/stackers to create wider platforms or removing them.
- Destructive skills with make a path for the projectile to fly through.
- Create platforms for lemmings to fall on. (Thrower)
- Create holes in walls for something like a glider. (Mortar/bazooka)
- Create terrain to shimmy under it. (Thrower)
- Remove terrain to allow a climber/shimmier/jumper to continue. (Mortar/bazooka)
- Cloners give the ability to hit the left and right side.
- ...

The range is again the big seller here, your worker lemming does not need to be at the area of interaction.

And all of this with little to no edge-cases! The projectile has it's certain arc and it effects the first bit of terrain it hits. No updraft interactions or transitioning into other skills required!

Offline Proxima

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #40 on: March 22, 2020, 11:38:37 pm »
But let me explain why the slider mostly provides a ton of redundant interactions that we can already achieve:

... The only thing that remains is:

A big one that you've missed is sliding down a wall to land in an indentation, for example a bomber hole. (Although this could also be achieved with a Thrower, given somewhere suitable to throw from!) And the other thing I really like about the Slider is the way its turning is sometimes an advantage and sometimes a disadvantage, so you can, for example, use a Slider to turn around in a place where there is no other way to do this, and then have to find a way to counteract the turning later on.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #41 on: March 22, 2020, 11:44:09 pm »
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And the other thing I really like about the Slider is the way its turning is sometimes an advantage and sometimes a disadvantage

The way I see this is that the level can always be designed that not turning is sometimes an advantage and sometimes a disadvantage as well. The direction can always be designed around for.


Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #42 on: March 22, 2020, 11:51:24 pm »
Quote
1.) A slider + jumper could be subsituted by a glider in a lot of design cases. Updrafts can also help to correct the trajectory.

2.) The turnaround of a slider can be substituted with a walker. In the case of 2 horizontal platforms parallel to each other a glider + cloner does the trick.

3.) If you want to simply get down: Floater/glider/updraft + maybe a walker/cloner

4.) Interruption of a climber. We have the jumper option now. You can design keeping the arc in mind.

5.) Jumper -> sliider: Jumper + floater should achieve similar things.

Puzzle potential is not only so much in things a skill can do, but often even more so in the things it explicitly can't do. Just like with the permanent-skill-removal object, people seem to start out by thinking about the new upsides a skill has, and how frequently those would come up - rather than about the drawbacks and how you can build around those.

Of course a Floater can get you down easily - in fact, often too easily. In the past people have repeatedly pointed out how they were having trouble implementing the Floater into puzzles in clever ways, because it's just so limited in what it does. Let's pretend the Floater didn't exist in NeoLemmix (and had never existed in the first place), i.e. it would have to prove its value standing completely on its own ground - would we bother adding it? A skill that basically does nothing else but "survive splat-height drops"? ;)

The Slider can only go down in specific places. Finding those places or creating them in the first place can be an interesting part of a puzzle. The most challenging puzzles are often about how to accomplish a thing that's pretty commonplace by itself: Containing the crowd, isolating a worker lemming, surviving a drop, or simply turning a lemming around just the right number of times.

And this is the other big selling point of the Slider: His distinctive way of turning lemmings around.

Since he usually looks the other way than all remaining Fallers - and does so by default, rather than requiring a Walker / Cloner assignment every time, as it is the case in your examples - he can be useful to isolate a worker lemming from a non-contained crowd. This way, he can be a powerful tool for very challenging flow-control puzzles. But rather than the Walker, which is often regarded as overpowered, you can't simply turn him around anywhere - you need to use the terrain to your advantage, find a drop where you can turn the Slider around, and only there it will work.
Other times, the fact that he turns around will backfire, just like the fact that the Climber goes over every straight wall. That is also usually an advantage, but it can be a disadvantage at times (again, one of the main points raised in favour of the permanent-skill-removal object).

I know some people regard the Slider in its core applications as nothing but a "weaker Floater". And usually, this raises the question: "Why would we want something that's just a weaker version of an existing skill?" But I think I've sufficiently shown how this is not such a clear-cut case as Swimmer vs. Kayaker (the Kayaker is strictly worse than the Swimmer, because it's single-use, and there is no situation in which drowning is better than being a Swimmer - unless you explicitly need to kill a lemming to prevent it from doing some kind of damage, but by that logic, any "bad" skill good be good :evil: ).

Rather, Slider vs. Floater is like Stacker vs. Stoner, Platformer vs. Builder: A huge part about the NeoLemmix Platformer is that it never gains height, no matter how hard you try. This is of course an advantage when it's applied to the type of level it was designed for - building under low ceilings without the lemming bumping his head. But more often than not, it is used in levels that only provide Platformers, no Builders, but still require you to gain height some other way. In those levels, the Platformer is clearly disadvantageous compared to the Builder - but that is precisely what creates the challenge! ;)

For example, your point 5) only holds up when the lemming needs to jump across a gap in order to be able to float down safely. If there is terrain connecting the position where the lemming drops and where he's supposed to land, he can simply float down directly and walk, no jump required.

However, if you don't have a Floater, only a rough cliff under which there is terrain at splat height, the Slider will not be able to get down there directly. But let's say on the other side of that cliff is a straight wall. The lemming can now jump over to the other side and start sliding from there. It's basically like "one-way arrows for splat heights" :thumbsup: .

A Glider obviously can solve both scenarios on its own. But that is precisely the reason why a Glider is often too powerful for such level scenarios - at least on higher ranks. ;) Just like Builders can be too powerful in levels that are about height-gaining (--> challenging levels will provide only Platformers instead), and Platformers can be too powerful and levels that require construction under low ceilings (--> challenging levels will provide Builders instead).

Quote
To convince you more in terms of puzzle potential here are some examples for both skills that I just know thought of without much thinking around:

- Stoners/stackers to create wider platforms or removing them.
- Destructive skills with make a path for the projectile to fly through.
- Create platforms for lemmings to fall on. (Thrower)
- Create holes in walls for something like a glider. (Mortar/bazooka)
- Create terrain to shimmy under it. (Thrower)
- Remove terrain to allow a climber/shimmier/jumper to continue. (Mortar/bazooka)
- Cloners give the ability to hit the left and right side.

This list, although it includes some nice ideas, is somewhat "dishonest" or at least misleading, because you put both distant destruction and distant creation into one list, either assuming that we will have both eventually, or depicting the puzzle potential of the individual skill (meaning only either distant destruction or creation) as more vast than it actually is. :P

Apart from that, I just want to say: Creating terrain with the Spear Thrower to shimmy under it sounds very precise ;) . Especially since one spear is probably not going to be very long, so you'll need to stick several spears into each other back-to-back. And the Shimmier is very sensitive to height differences - any deviation of two or more pixels between two spears would make him quit. Thus, I can only see this work if the Spear Thrower always throws at a straight horizontal line. That would basically make him a Platformer with range.
Except that the spear would be thrown over the lemming's shoulder, i.e. it would not land at the height of his feet. So he couldn't actually walk onto a path created by his own spears.
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Online IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #43 on: March 23, 2020, 12:21:19 am »
Quote
The Slider can only go down in specific places. Finding those places or creating them in the first place can be an interesting part of a puzzle. The most challenging puzzles are often about how to accomplish a thing that's pretty commonplace by itself: Containing the crowd, isolating a worker lemming, surviving a drop, or simply turning a lemming around just the right number of times.

I bet you can also achieve that with the other skills. ;)

Quote
And this is the other big selling point of the Slider: His distinctive way of turning lemmings around.
Since he usually looks the other way than all remaining Fallers - and does so by default, rather than requiring a Walker / Cloner assignment every time, as it is the case in your examples - he can be useful to isolate a worker lemming from a non-contained crowd. This way, he can be a powerful tool for very challenging flow-control puzzles. But rather than the Walker, which is often regarded as overpowered, you can't simply turn him around anywhere - you need to use the terrain to your advantage, find a drop where you can turn the Slider around, and only there it will work.
Other times, the fact that he turns around will backfire, just like the fact that the Climber goes over every straight wall. That is also usually an advantage, but it can be a disadvantage at times (again, one of the main points raised in favour of the permanent-skill-removal object).

There are way more than enough ways to turn lemmings around! We don't need yet another one! Again, nothing against my argument of redundancy.

Another example that is very fresh: Jump against a wall instead of sliding. 

Also, by level design itself you can often create the cases where turning is an advantage or disadvantage anyway.

Quote
But I think I've sufficiently shown how this is not such a clear-cut case as Swimmer vs. Kayaker (the Kayaker is strictly worse than the Swimmer, because it's single-use, and there is no situation in which drowning is better than being a Swimmer - unless you explicitly need to kill a lemming to prevent it from doing some kind of damage, but by that logic, any "bad" skill good be good :evil: ).

Quote
I know some people regard the Slider in its core applications as nothing but a "weaker Floater". And usually, this raises the question: "Why would we want something that's just a weaker version of an existing skill?" But I think I've sufficiently shown how this is not such a clear-cut case as Swimmer vs. Kayaker (the Kayaker is strictly worse than the Swimmer, because it's single-use, and there is no situation in which drowning is better than being a Swimmer - unless you explicitly need to kill a lemming to prevent it from doing some kind of damage, but by that logic, any "bad" skill good be good :evil: ).

I just simply don't want a similar version of skills we already have. The 20th skill slot should not be wasted for things we can already achieve. That is my point.

Why add a similar or weaker version of a thing we already have when we can have something new and different!


Quote
For example, your point 5) only holds up when the lemming needs to jump across a gap in order to be able to float down safely. If there is terrain connecting the position where the lemming drops and where he's supposed to land, he can simply float down directly and walk, no jump required.

Then don't design the level with connecting terrain - or put a trap in the way. :P 

Quote
However, if you don't have a Floater, only a rough cliff under which there is terrain at splat height, the Slider will not be able to get down there directly. But let's say on the other side of that cliff is a straight wall. The lemming can now jump over to the other side and start sliding from there. It's basically like "one-way arrows for splat heights"

Again, put a fire in the way on the rough cliff side and the floater needs to jump as well.


Quote
This list, although it includes some nice ideas, is somewhat "dishonest" or at least misleading, because you put both distant destruction and distant creation into one list, either assuming that we will have both eventually, or depicting the puzzle potential of the individual skill (meaning only either distant destruction or creation) as more vast than it actually is.

I just wanted to give quick examples for both cases. Don't just mark it as dishonest. And these things are just the ones I immidiatly thought of.

Quote
Apart from that, I just want to say: Creating terrain with the Spear Thrower to shimmy under it sounds very precise ;) . Especially since one spear is probably not going to be very long, so you'll need to stick several spears into each other back-to-back. And the Shimmier is very sensitive to height differences - any deviation of two or more pixels between two spears would make him quit. Thus, I can only see this work if the Spear Thrower always throws at a straight horizontal line. That would basically make him a Platformer with range.
Except that the spear would be thrown over the lemming's shoulder, i.e. it would not land at the height of his feet. So he couldn't actually walk onto a path created by his own spears.

1.) The arc is always the same so you can get used to it and rely on it.

2.) We have skill shadows. It will be just like a builder skill shadow. The needed precision is up to the level designer. If the level is well designed then the throw will probably have a bit of leeway.

3.) We can make the spear a bit longer so that back to back is not required very often and even that will be easy when assigning them back to back.

4.) Not every shimmier way needs to be very long. A few throwers should be enough to implement the trick. Otherwise it is leaning to general bad level design anyway.

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #44 on: March 23, 2020, 01:42:47 am »
If the permanent-skill-canceller object gets implemented, it would likely make the Slider even more useful.

That said, I'm fairly open to all ideas about the 20th skill. I think I'd be happy with pretty much any of the skills that have been discussed so far, as long as it's bringing at least one or two new possibilities to the table.

Slider - non-permanent way to get down from a height; possibility to rescue a Climber that's going off-course; possibility to transfer to/from Shimmier; possibility to separate a worker

Bazookerer - possibility to destroy terrain from distance; can use as a non-fatal bomber replacement; possibility to kill zombies

Spear-Thrower - possibility to create terrain from distance; possibility to kill zombies

Lazer-Blaster - possibility to destroy terrain vertically upwards; possibility to kill zombies (?)

Runner - possibility to separate a worker; possibility to increase Jumper range

All exciting possibilities. Have I forgotten any other skills being discussed at the mo?

Offline Proxima

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #45 on: March 23, 2020, 03:04:31 am »
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And the other thing I really like about the Slider is the way its turning is sometimes an advantage and sometimes a disadvantage

The way I see this is that the level can always be designed that not turning is sometimes an advantage and sometimes a disadvantage as well. The direction can always be designed around for.

Of course that's true; but what is uniquely gained with the Slider is that some lemmings will turn around after every fall while others will not, and both groups need a way to get to the exit.

Offline Proxima

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #46 on: March 23, 2020, 03:17:45 am »
Similarly to the upward Digger / downward Builder discussion, this is another case where it would feel weird to have one but not the other. Why just distant construction, but not distant destruction? Or the other way round?

It doesn't feel weird to me, because construction and destruction have never actually been symmetrical (and for good reason: terrain and air do not behave the same, and gravity has a fixed direction). Original Lemmings has only the one constructive skill, but three destructive skills with a choice of direction. NeoLemmix adds the fencer, platformer and stacker, so that if you consider "diagonally upwards" and "diagonally downwards" each to be one possible direction (ignoring the possibility of different gradients), then we can now dig in 4 of 5 possible directions, but build in only 3 of 5. If we added both an upward digger and a downward builder, it would be 5 of 5 and 4 of 5 -- except that the laser blaster wouldn't quite be the same as the other digging skills, because the lemming stays put instead of travelling with the tunnel.

All that said -- the current discussion really has made me aware that several of the proposed skills would be interesting, and it's a shame the Fencer was added so that we can't have two slots still open for new skills 8-)

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #47 on: March 23, 2020, 09:24:24 am »
Quote
and it's a shame the Fencer was added so that we can't have two slots still open for new skills

What? :P The Fencer is infinitely more useful than any upward Digger, because regular lemmings can use the tunnel it creates to get up! ;) The upward Digger would mainly be a tool to free a crowd from below (classic L2 Laser-Blaster application), or to create a path from below, but only for Climbers.

And to possibly make dents into a ceiling to stop Shimmiers, as we discussed. This, coincidentally, is something that does not work in L2 (I've tried it!) - because the Shimmier flips aroud the 90° corner and transitions back into a Climber, going up into the ceiling and killing himself. It should still work with non-Climber Shimmiers, of course, because those drop straight down - but those don't seem to be as common as Climber-Shimmiers.

All in all, even though I'm a big fan of upward Diggers, I still wouldn't want to miss the Fencer for them, and I'd take the NeoLemmix Fencer over an upward Digger or Laser Blaster any day! :P

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Of course that's true; but what is uniquely gained with the Slider is that some lemmings will turn around after every fall while others will not, and both groups need a way to get to the exit.

Exactly! ;) :thumbsup:
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Offline Proxima

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #48 on: March 23, 2020, 01:17:42 pm »
Heh. I apologise to fans of the Fencer; it just stood out as being the skill that was added later, on its own, and isn't the Shimmier or Jumper. The Jumper I would definitely keep -- I'd even rank it above the Floater, and you know how much I like the original skills. The Shimmier loses a little of its lustre now we have the Jumper, but it's still one of the more interesting skills, and there are things it can do that the Jumper can't and vice versa.

I would rank an upward digger (either the laser-blaster type or the tunneller type) above the Fencer, because the Fencer's shallow tunnel duplicates what a Miner already does, only from the other side; and getting a lemming to the right place to mine down is often an interesting puzzle element to work with. Yes, that objection applies to the Tunneller as well, but I am being consistent there; in my first post in this topic I raised that objection and said that a Tunneller might end up being less attractive because it's too useful and simplifies things too much.

Still... if I had to live in an alternate world where one of the NL skills was never added, I would almost certainly choose the Swimmer, which has significantly less appeal now that we have both the Shimmier and Jumper for getting a single lemming across water.

Offline mobius

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #49 on: March 23, 2020, 02:44:11 pm »
the skills I could most easily live without are probable swimmer and stacker. (maybe even also walker)

I also like the idea of a spear thrower or some such skill.
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Online IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #50 on: March 23, 2020, 03:02:18 pm »
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    Of course that's true; but what is uniquely gained with the Slider is that some lemmings will turn around after every fall while others will not, and both groups need a way to get to the exit.
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Exactly! ;)

---> splitters, or even some other contraption like gliders hit the wall and turn and fallers just fall - we've got way more than enough tools for this.

The main question stays, why add something similar when we can add something that we don't have currently? ??? 

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #51 on: March 23, 2020, 04:10:08 pm »

Online IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #52 on: March 23, 2020, 05:08:37 pm »
Then take one of the many other things: Instead of everyone that should turn being a slider, they are now a glider that hits a wall and turn before they land. You can always adjust the terrain to achieve this.

We have the tools already.


Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #53 on: March 23, 2020, 07:19:46 pm »
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The main question stays, why add something similar when we can add something that we don't have currently?

1) I think we're working with different conceptions of what is "similar". The Spear Thrower to me sounds very similar to the Stoner (because of how easily it can break falls by adding just a little piece of terrain, which also frequently results in easy-to-overlook backroutes) and the Platformer (because it creates a horizontal plane lemmings can walk over or shimmy under).

2) Because for some or even many of us, interactions between skills are one of the main driving points of puzzles - and the Slider has a lot of options, "attachment points" were it can easily connect with all the other skills. I'm pretty convinced the Slider would fit in with the already existing skills so naturally as if it had always been there ;) .

In fact, while namida agreed with us that a skill that's only good in the interaction with 1-2 skills isn't worth implementing (main argument used against the Runner back then), I think he stated that a skill that doesn't do much on its own but interacts with nearly all the others could already be considered worthwhile. (This is the main case for the Turbo Lemming, since it would accelerate all skills - but namida has already ruled that specific one out.) The most famous example would probably be the Cloner - just getting another lemming does next to nothing, but copying all the skills plus inverting the direction of performance is what makes it the ultimate "joker" skill.

The Slider, in contrast, already has specific applications by itself. But when you combine it with Jumpers, Climbers, Shimmiers, Bombers, Stoners, and then also destructive skills (because since he's facing the wall while falling, he doesn't need to turn around before bashing / mining / fencing into that wall), the number of potential new interactions seems nigh infinite! ;)
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Online IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #54 on: March 23, 2020, 09:24:20 pm »
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1) I think we're working with different conceptions of what is "similar". The Spear Thrower to me sounds very similar to the Stoner (because of how easily it can break falls by adding just a little piece of terrain, which also frequently results in easy-to-overlook backroutes) and the Platformer (because it creates a horizontal plane lemmings can walk over or shimmy under).

You are totally leaving out the range factor in here and the possibilities with the projectile arc itself. Also it doesn't reuire a sacrifice and cannot be activated mid-air. Again the range is the big selling point for both skills. Of course if you leave it out it gets similar.

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2) Because for some or even many of us, interactions between skills are one of the main driving points of puzzles - and the Slider has a lot of options, "attachment points" were it can easily connect with all the other skills. I'm pretty convinced the Slider would fit in with the already existing skills so naturally as if it had always been there ;) .

In fact, while namida agreed with us that a skill that's only good in the interaction with 1-2 skills isn't worth implementing (main argument used against the Runner back then), I think he stated that a skill that doesn't do much on its own but interacts with nearly all the others could already be considered worthwhile. (This is the main case for the Turbo Lemming, since it would accelerate all skills - but namida has already ruled that specific one out.) The most famous example would probably be the Cloner - just getting another lemming does next to nothing, but copying all the skills plus inverting the direction of performance is what makes it the ultimate "joker" skill.

The Slider, in contrast, already has specific applications by itself. But when you combine it with Jumpers, Climbers, Shimmiers, Bombers, Stoners, and then also destructive skills (because since he's facing the wall while falling, he doesn't need to turn around before bashing / mining / fencing into that wall), the number of potential new interactions seems nigh infinite!

The result of these "attachment points", as I showed, can already be simulated by other means! Mostly because again, the slider is very similar to already existing ones and why, with the danger of repeating myself for the Xth time, should we add a skill that (even with the combination with other skills) achieves mostly the same things we can do already?
Why have "nigh infinite" interactions which don't achieve much new, only new things to learn for new players?

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #55 on: March 23, 2020, 11:17:46 pm »
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and why, with the danger of repeating myself for the Xth time, should we add a skill that (even with the combination with other skills) achieves mostly the same things we can do already?

The interactions are unique to the Slider. There is no way to transition from Falling into shimmying along a ceiling without doing a workaround requiring several skills, several lemmings, and sacrificing at least one of them. (For example, drop one lemming down a straight wall, stone him, let a second lemming follow, turn him around, which may or may not require another sacrifice in form of a Stoner / Blocker, then the turned-around lemming needs to get under the ceiling, which may require a Platformer or a Jumper, and only then can he start shimmying.

Compare that to Slider --> Shimmier. Just two skills used, only one lemming used, none sacrificed --> way more efficient, and leaves more space on the skill panel for other stuff.

Of course you can "simulate" the effects of any skill by using several other skills to work around it. I also "simulated" Shimmiers in Lemmicks by having Gliders glide along the bottom of a Platform inside an updraft. But that's a heavy workaround to achieve something that another skill - in this case the Shimmier - accomplishes naturally.



But I will happily address your single points again in detail:

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1.) A slider + jumper could be subsituted by a glider in a lot of design cases. Updrafts can also help to correct the trajectory.

The big difference here is that a Jumper can hold on to a wall if he's a Climber, whereas a Glider explicitly bounces off a wall (even if he is a Climber, i.e. comparable otherwise). A Jumper can also transition into a Shimmier. Sliding down and jumping alone may have a similar result as gliding, yes - but you stopped at that two-way interaction. The three-way interactions Slider-Jumper-Climber and Slider-Jumper-Shimmier are the ones you left out - and those are things the Glider absolutely can't do: He can neither transition into a Climber nor into a Shimmier. ;)

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2.) The turnaround of a slider can be substituted with a walker. In the case of 2 horizontal platforms parallel to each other a glider + cloner does the trick.

Well, duh, the Walker can always turn around lemmings - and precisely for that reason, it's the most boring way to accomplish this! :P Even assigning a Blocker temporarily and having to free him later (by a different mean than a Walker!) is more creative than simply providing a Walker for that purpose. More than that, leaving "taste" and "originality" aside, the Walker is also so powerful that it can quickly cause backroutes, due to its multiple uses:

A Walker you provide just for the purpose of turning a lemming around may get abused to free a Blocker, or to cancel another skill mid-performance (Bashers / Fencers / Miners). You can't abuse a Slider to do either of those things. And the Slider's turning behaviour can also result in a drawback, like a Climber going over walls that end up killing him. The Walker is just too flexible for this comparison, because you will only assign a Walker when you actually need the lemming to turn around - you won't be faced with the challenge of the lemming turning around by himself.

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3.) If you want to simply get down: Floater/glider/updraft + maybe a walker/cloner

Again, the Floater is the least creative way to make a fall survivable. Gliders are more versatile, of course - but I don't see how updrafts come into play here? Or Walkers and Cloners? How do any of the latter help a lemming get down (unless the terrain is set up specifically to do that, of course)? ???

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4.) Interruption of a climber. We have the jumper option now. You can design keeping the arc in mind.

This isn't even one of the main arguments for the Slider, because the idea that assigning a Slider to a Climber who is currently climbing should stop him from doing that wasn't that popular. But even if this were to happen: The Jumper catapults the Climber upwards and in the opposite direction he was looking before. The Slider goes down and keeps looking in the same direction as the Climber. In other words, the two skills would lead the lemming to opposite ends of the level.

If you need to cancel a Climber below the ceiling (which is probably the most common thing, since that's when it's most crucial) and do it with a Jumper, that might just kill the lemming because it
a) takes him beyond the top edge of the level, or
b) takes him to such heights that the ensuing fall will be splat height.

Should it become possible to interrupt a Climber by assigning a Slider while climbing, this would not run the risk of catapulting the Climber beyond the ceiling, and it would also ensure a safe way down instead.

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5.) Jumper -> sliider: Jumper + floater should achieve similar things.

Again, only if you stop at that two-way interaction. After Jumper--> Slider, the lemming might well transition into a Shimmier at the end of the drop; or he might slide down up to a certain extent and then jump back off in the other direction.

This is something that even Gliders would have difficulty to pull of, because once a Glider has been assigned, you no longer have control over the points where the lemming hits the wall and turns around. Assigning Jumpers to Sliders, in contrast, allows the lemming to bounce from one wall to another or to a platform at the exact right spot more easily.

In short: It drastically reduces execution difficulty. ;) And isn't that something we all want?

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You are totally leaving out the range factor in here and the possibilities with the projectile arc itself. Also it doesn't reuire a sacrifice and cannot be activated mid-air. Again the range is the big selling point for both skills. Of course if you leave it out it gets similar.

Well, the range aspect is at the same time also what was considered the limiting factor about the Laser Blaster when it comes to design applications - and why it's so often merely used to free the crowd from below at the end.

Because the lemming is so far away from the terrain he is affecting, the changes he can make to that terrain are also usually just minor.

Going with the "weaker version of something already existing" line of argumentation, I might just as well say: Why would you chain several spears to each other to create a bridge when you could simply use a Platformer? Why throw a spear into the path of a falling lemmings to break their fall, when stoning one of those falling lemmings accomplishes the exact same thing?

And again, I can just as easily play the "simulate this with other tools" game by arguing that any range-effect skill can be simulated by using teleporters. Those can take the worker lemming wherever he needs to be, and get him there out of nowhere :P . That beats the reach of any ranged skill any day! :evil:
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Online IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #56 on: March 24, 2020, 12:17:07 am »
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There is no way to transition from Falling into shimmying along a ceiling without doing a workaround requiring several skills, several lemmings, and sacrificing at least one of them.

But there is still a workaround.

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The big difference here is that a Jumper can hold on to a wall if he's a Climber, whereas a Glider explicitly bounces off a wall (even if he is a Climber, i.e. comparable otherwise). A Jumper can also transition into a Shimmier. Sliding down and jumping alone may have a similar result as gliding, yes - but you stopped at that two-way interaction. The three-way interactions Slider-Jumper-Climber and Slider-Jumper-Shimmier are the ones you left out - and those are things the Glider absolutely can't do: He can neither transition into a Climber nor into a Shimmier.

So now we start to throw more and more skills into the mix until at some point it may become unique to the slider. Fine, let the glider land before a wall or just below a ceiling and he can become a climber or a shimmier. Or even just use updrafts at this point.

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Well, duh, the Walker can always turn around lemmings - and precisely for that reason, it's the most boring way to accomplish this! :P Even assigning a Blocker temporarily and having to free him later (by a different mean than a Walker!) is more creative than simply providing a Walker for that purpose. More than that, leaving "taste" and "originality" aside, the Walker is also so powerful that it can quickly cause backroutes, due to its multiple uses:

A Walker you provide just for the purpose of turning a lemming around may get abused to free a Blocker, or to cancel another skill mid-performance (Bashers / Fencers / Miners). You can't abuse a Slider to do either of those things. And the Slider's turning behaviour can also result in a drawback, like a Climber going over walls that end up killing him. The Walker is just too flexible for this comparison, because you will only assign a Walker when you actually need the lemming to turn around - you won't be faced with the challenge of the lemming turning around by himself.

Now we are not searching for ways to do a task anymore, even if we already have X ways of doing the task we need a new fancy one. Even if the new task is just the simple assigning of a new skill.

And you just focus on mostly 1 thing here: The Walker.

Then let's try one of the 1000 other things:

- Splitters
- Cloners
- Glider + wall
- Builder who hits his head
- miner hits steel
- the crowd of N lemmings consists of N-1 climbers and 1 non-climber and a wall is placed in front of them
- a platformer
- a jumper against a wall that is slightly in the air
- a stacker that is only up in time for the stacker himself
- a slight steel slope and a basher
- .......

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Again, the Floater is the least creative way to make a fall survivable. Gliders are more versatile, of course - but I don't see how updrafts come into play here? Or Walkers and Cloners? How do any of the latter help a lemming get down (unless the terrain is set up specifically to do that, of course)?

Again, how is assigning a slider more creative than assigning a floater? It still gets the job done.

The latter I include just to determine the facing direction upon landing.

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This isn't even one of the main arguments for the Slider, because the idea that assigning a Slider to a Climber who is currently climbing should stop him from doing that wasn't that popular. But even if this were to happen: The Jumper catapults the Climber upwards and in the opposite direction he was looking before. The Slider goes down and keeps looking in the same direction as the Climber. In other words, the two skills would lead the lemming to opposite ends of the level.

If you need to cancel a Climber below the ceiling (which is probably the most common thing, since that's when it's most crucial) and do it with a Jumper, that might just kill the lemming because it
a) takes him beyond the top edge of the level, or
b) takes him to such heights that the ensuing fall will be splat height.

Should it become possible to interrupt a Climber by assigning a Slider while climbing, this would not run the risk of catapulting the Climber beyond the ceiling, and it would also ensure a safe way down instead.

Design the level around the jump and make it save. Done.

For the direction: Jumper hits wall --> turn. Jumper doesn't hit wall --> no turn

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Again, only if you stop at that two-way interaction. After Jumper--> Slider, the lemming might well transition into a Shimmier at the end of the drop; or he might slide down up to a certain extent and then jump back off in the other direction.

This is something that even Gliders would have difficulty to pull of, because once a Glider has been assigned, you no longer have control over the points where the lemming hits the wall and turns around. Assigning Jumpers to Sliders, in contrast, allows the lemming to bounce from one wall to another or to a platform at the exact right spot more easily.

In short: It drastically reduces execution difficulty. ;) And isn't that something we all want?

And you again don't see the possibility to adapt the terrain for these kind of things. The designer has total control and can design these things to not be precise. You don't need a new skill for it.


The fact that these points even need to be discussed in this depth shows the similarity of the slider to other skills more and more. More and moe skills need to go into the slider combination chains to make them unique, other old methods are not exciting enough anymore. Even if we assume that some of these interactions are unique, that still only leave us with those few and the risk of them being rather specific is great.
We can do better than that! I don't want to 20th skill to be redundant for the most part!



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Because the lemming is so far away from the terrain he is affecting, the changes he can make to that terrain are also usually just minor.

I think you did not thought enough of the possibilities here.

Let me address the points:

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Why would you chain several spears to each other to create a bridge when you could simply use a Platformer?

- Make the gap narrow enough that 1 spear does the job.
- Platformers are very slow, a throw is faster.

You could even cover one part of the gap with a platformer and cover the rest with a spear as another platformer would be too slow, turns, closes the hole, .....

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Why throw a spear into the path of a falling lemmings to break their fall, when stoning one of those falling lemmings accomplishes the exact same thing?

A spear must be thrown into already present terrain. That means the crowd will either hit a wall and turn or get on a platform and walk along.
Also you need to position the thrower first, getting that done is another challenge.

A stoner mostly just breaks the fall.


I am totally fine if we find a better skill than a thrower/bazooka one. It just has to be unique and providing something we currently don't have. The slider isn't doing that or isn't doing that enough.

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #57 on: March 24, 2020, 05:44:31 am »
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There is no way to transition from Falling into shimmying along a ceiling without doing a workaround requiring several skills, several lemmings, and sacrificing at least one of them.

But there is still a workaround.

This is a tricky one.

On one hand, we could potentially have a way to move a single lemming around an entire level by itself, unaided; I get that there is more than one way to look at this, though.

Because, on the other hand: it does make the movement skills suddenly very powerful, particularly in combination with one another, which could in turn reduce the need for finding said workarounds (which can be a very big part of the game).

Personally, I like the idea of more movement skills: we have more than enough terrain creation/destruction skills. Sure, they might be giving the game increasingly more "parkour potential", and I get why you might be against that idea. But ultimately, maybe the 20th skill should also bring with it a sense of balance.

And - level designers can still choose to limit the number of movement skills available in a given level, so we won't completely lose the need to find inventive workarounds. A lot of the original levels do just that: "sure, we could give you a blocker or some extra builders here, but we're not going to: find a workaround!"

It might be a good idea to draw up a list of the skills in their respective categories and see which list has the least skills on it (I would do that, but I'm not sure I'd be the best person to do this coz I'm not 100% sure which skills fit into which category).

Again, how is assigning a slider more creative than assigning a floater? It still gets the job done.

I think this is the crux of the matter here:

Assigning a Slider is perhaps more "creative" in the sense that more can be done with the Slider state: assigning to Jumper, transitioning to Shimmier, landing facing the wall (I think this seems to be the current assumption, anyway).

If there are two ways to get the same job done, but one of them offers even just one more possibility, which are you going to favour?

I say this as a big fan of the Floater skill, by the way; I've customised mine to have red and white umbrellas :lemcat::



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Why would you chain several spears to each other to create a bridge when you could simply use a Platformer?

- Make the gap narrow enough that 1 spear does the job.
- Platformers are very slow, a throw is faster.

This is a very good case for the Spear-thrower: where the Bomber is an instant destructive skill, it would be good to have an instantly constructive skill that's a) non-sacrificial, and b) big enough to instantly close a large(ish) gap. I can definitely see the potential in this idea.

I am totally fine if we find a better skill than a thrower/bazooka one. It just has to be unique and providing something we currently don't have. The slider isn't doing that or isn't doing that enough.

There might be a need to agree to disagree on this second point: I'm on the side of thinking that the Slider has way more potential than most of the other ideas currently on the table.

However, I do agree that the 20th skill should bring something totally new to the table in and of itself, and perhaps the Slider doesn't do that, specifically.

So... what haven't we thought of yet?

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #58 on: March 24, 2020, 08:55:32 am »
Regarding the workarounds for proposed behaviours, one thing I have to say is that the more complex they get, the more they scream "backroute potential!" to me...

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #59 on: March 24, 2020, 09:54:43 am »
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Regarding the workarounds for proposed behaviours, one thing I have to say is that the more complex they get, the more they scream "backroute potential!" to me...

Exactly! ;) The more skills I have to provide to enable a workaround - especially when it comes to skills as powerful and backroute-prone as Walkers and Stoners, which is the case in all of my examples for substituting the Slider - the more likely this is to invite backroutes indeed.

Back to IchoTolot:

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And you again don't see the possibility to adapt the terrain for these kind of things. The designer has total control and can design these things to not be precise. You don't need a new skill for it.

Of course the designer can adapt everything. But let me phrase this the other way round: The absence of the Slider forces the designer to adapt the terrain in a way he/she might not want to. If a certain skill behaviour is not possible in the first place and you keep adapting the terrain to make up for that, then at what point would we just say this is a completely different solution than intended? ;)

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- Make the gap narrow enough that 1 spear does the job.
- Platformers are very slow, a throw is faster.

It's interseting that WillLem called those two things a good case for the Spear Thrower, because both sound like horribly precise execution difficulty to me. :P The spear would probably be just one pixel in diameter and a couple of pixels in length. Meaning, if you want to make a gap narrow enough for just a spear to be thrown through it, it would have to be a 1-pixel gap (well, if that doesn't sound like fun). But I think you are referring to the gap the spear is supposed to lead across here. So let's say that's 12 or 16 pixels. How deep does the spear stick in the terrain it lands in? If this is just one pixel too far, there will be a gap remaining on the side from which the spear was thrown.

But I know by now that WillLem likes a good bit of execution difficulty. ;) In turn, the points he brought up right under that quote actually refer to something different, that is non-lethality:

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This is a very good case for the Spear-thrower: where the Bomber is an instant destructive skill, it would be good to have an instantly constructive skill that's a) non-sacrificial, and b) big enough to instantly close a large(ish) gap. I can definitely see the potential in this idea.

A while ago, WillLem suggested non-lethal versions of both the Bomber (the Lightsaberer) and the Stoner (don't remember the name of that one). This would essentially be the latter, but wider than the Stoner, more comparable to the Lix cuber, which creates an entire block, rather than just a narrow piece of terrain in the shape of a Lix. The added difference would be that it can work at a distance, as you said.



Still, the question remains: How do you get a spear to span across two chunks of terrain of equal height (like a Platformer bridge)? The spear would have to be thrown over the lemming's shoulder, i.e. from a higher altitude than the lemming's feet. Does that mean it always requires an additional Builder or Jumper to get on top of a "bridge" created by the Spear Thrower in the first place? ???

That would mean that the core application of the Spear Thrower would only be good in conjunction with another skill, whereas the Slider in its core application is of similar power as the Floater, and then some.

What I actually find a much more interesting case in favour of the Spear Thrower is this:

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A spear must be thrown into already present terrain. That means the crowd will either hit a wall and turn or get on a platform and walk along.
Also you need to position the thrower first, getting that done is another challenge.

A stoner mostly just breaks the fall.

This "existing terrain" part is an interesting limitation compared to the oftentimes broken Stoner.

However, I'm generally a bit surprised about your several remarks here that almost seem to imply you like the Spear Thrower for... execution difficulty? :P

Quote from: IchoTolot
- Make the gap narrow enough that 1 spear does the job.
- Platformers are very slow, a throw is faster.

[. . .]

Also you need to position the thrower first, getting that done is another challenge.

Those things (speed-based solutions and proper positioning) are precisely my main objection against all the projectile skills from Lemmings 2: The Tribes! The Thrower, the Spear Thrower, the Bazooker, the Mortar, and of course the Archer (Sports 10, remember ;) ), even thought that latter one has fortunately already been ruled out.

The Laser Blaser at least creates a constant beam that is much easier to navigate and predict than a loose projectile.

Of course, as you said, we will have skill shadows for this in the end. But if the presence of skill shadows were an excuse for deliberately increasing execution difficulty, the NeoLemmix community wouldn't be so adamant about continuing to criticise execution difficulty in general. ;)


Quote from: WillLem
Personally, I like the idea of more movement skills: we have more than enough terrain creation/destruction skills. Sure, they might be giving the game increasingly more "parkour potential", and I get why you might be against that idea. But ultimately, maybe the 20th skill should also bring with it a sense of balance.

And - level designers can still choose to limit the number of movement skills available in a given level, so we won't completely lose the need to find inventive workarounds. A lot of the original levels do just that: "sure, we could give you a blocker or some extra builders here, but we're not going to: find a workaround!"

An interesting new perspective! :thumbsup: I admit that for the longest time, I was so keen on getting the balance between constructive and destructive skills right that I had completely forgotten about the fact that "movement skills" might establish themselves as a separate third category. While there is a certain overlap between movement skills and athletic skills (and a standard permanent Slider would also fall into that category), the Jumper, Shimmier, Walker, and technically also the Cloner show that movement skills don't need to be restricted to permanent applications.


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Assigning a Slider is perhaps more "creative" in the sense that more can be done with the Slider state: assigning to Jumper, transitioning to Shimmier, landing facing the wall (I think this seems to be the current assumption, anyway).

If there are two ways to get the same job done, but one of them offers even just one more possibility, which are you going to favour?

This is precisely why in the "suggest your own 10-skill panel" thread ("Defining the new classic 10 skills" was kind of re-purposed to that recently), I dropped the Floater in favour of the Glider - because the Glider can accomplish the same thing as a Floater (when it comes to saving a lemming from a single lethal drop) if you just assign it late enough.

A Glider can only "backfire" due to its diagonal trajectory once it has already been assigned, by taking a lemming too far and leaving the player no option to delay the opening of the parachute - but then again, the same can be said for the Floater: If you need to survive a straight drop first, and at the next drop, there is a gap or water there so that you would need a Glider instead, the Floater can blow up in the player's face just as much as the Glider can.

In general, I'd even argue that the better a skill gets one specific job done - and only that job - the less puzzle potential it has. Namely, the Floater, the Disarmer, and possibly the Swimmer. But the Swimmer still has the most puzzle potential of these three, and even that skill has been called obsolete by Proxima!

So instead of providing these powerful skills to the player that get the job done too easily - like e.g. also the Walker gets the job of turning a lemming around done too easily - the designer can give the player something less powerful and, as WillLem said, tell them to "find a workaround!"

Basically, the only difference is:
- IchoTolot suggests to use workarounds with other skills to replace the Slider
- I suggest using the Slider to create workarounds that can replace Floaters and Gliders ;)

But since I think we established that the number of different things you can do with the Floater is more limited, my argument is that the Floater is the one more worthy of being "replaced" by other skills.
;)

(And no, of course this does not mean "cull the Floater from the game", but simply "maybe level designers should use it less frequently". I apply the same logic to using Stackers more frequently than Blockers, at least when it comes to crowd control. Blockers can have very advanced uses, but that's usually in levels where the crowd can't be contained at all, and the Blocker has to be freed again in the end.)
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Lemmicks, a pack for (very old) NeoLemmix 1.43 full of gimmicks, 170 levels

Online IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #60 on: March 24, 2020, 11:43:22 am »
There is another big reason not just against the slider itself, but to a group of skills:

The last 2 skills that were added are movement skills. I think it is also time to add to another group again.

Also, the parkour options are really getting out of hand I fear and the specific combinations seem to make the game more complex than it needs to be and it already is complex.



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If there are two ways to get the same job done, but one of them offers even just one more possibility, which are you going to favour?

The answer to this is not as obvious as you think here. Possibility is not everything and in some cases can even be harmful and overcomplicate things. The actions need to make sense and fit into the game on top of that.


To the entirety of the workaround debate:

I think you miss my core point here. Of course a workaround is more prone to backroutes and a slider would help with that. But why waste this last opportunity on a skill that just makes some interactions more backroute prone and on top of that doesn't really add anything completely new to the table?

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  Regarding the workarounds for proposed behaviours, one thing I have to say is that the more complex they get, the more they scream "backroute potential!" to me...


Exactly! ;) The more skills I have to provide to enable a workaround - especially when it comes to skills as powerful and backroute-prone as Walkers and Stoners, which is the case in all of my examples for substituting the Slider - the more likely this is to invite backroutes indeed.

And of course if you add more and more to the discussed slider interaction the workaround must add more as well. Of course both get more complex.

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Of course the designer can adapt everything. But let me phrase this the other way round: The absence of the Slider forces the designer to adapt the terrain in a way he/she might not want to. If a certain skill behaviour is not possible in the first place and you keep adapting the terrain to make up for that, then at what point would we just say this is a completely different solution than intended? ;)

The modifications I proposed here are not extreme and it is impossible to predict what everydisgner might want/ not want to. Sometimes certain ideas need to be dropped as well and we can't account for everything. This loss is inevitable in any case.

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It's interseting that WillLem called those two things a good case for the Spear Thrower, because both sound like horribly precise execution difficulty to me. :P The spear would probably be just one pixel in diameter and a couple of pixels in length. Meaning, if you want to make a gap narrow enough for just a spear to be thrown through it, it would have to be a 1-pixel gap (well, if that doesn't sound like fun). But I think you are referring to the gap the spear is supposed to lead across here. So let's say that's 12 or 16 pixels. How deep does the spear stick in the terrain it lands in? If this is just one pixel too far, there will be a gap remaining on the side from which the spear was thrown.

You have the wrong picture in your head here:

The gap the spear would close would be more in the range of a 16 pixel width and the exceution would not be very precise. The spear either comes from below and hits the other side of the gap in an angle or it comes from ground level hit the other side in an more shap angle (cover maybe around 8 pixels here) and deals with the 3rd thrird of a gap.

These cases will try to visualise this

Spear from above

-------I --  I
         I
         I    \I

Spear from below

-----I  I
      I   
       --I


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Still, the question remains: How do you get a spear to span across two chunks of terrain of equal height (like a Platformer bridge)? The spear would have to be thrown over the lemming's shoulder, i.e. from a higher altitude than the lemming's feet. Does that mean it always requires an additional Builder or Jumper to get on top of a "bridge" created by the Spear Thrower in the first place?

You called it being a combination skill a plus point for the slider earlier:

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Because for some or even many of us, interactions between skills are one of the main driving points of puzzles - and the Slider has a lot of options, "attachment points" were it can easily connect with all the other skills.

Now it's a weak point.

The goal of the spear is not even to cover a large gap. It should not just be a more complicated platformer. It is more useful for short gaps and that fast or in combinations with other skills.


A raged skill either interacts with a higher altitude in this case it hits at the arc's peak.

At ground level where something like a 45 degree angle would exits and it could be used to get height. In this case no height gaining skills are required.

Or to a level below at a sharper angle. In this case no height gaining skills are required. The crowd could drop down onto it.

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whereas the Slider in its core application is of similar power as the Floater, and then some.

You you say it yourself: The core is mostly redundant! :8():

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However, I'm generally a bit surprised about your several remarks here that almost seem to imply you like the Spear Thrower for... execution difficulty?

I still don't see the execution difficulty you are talking about all the time. None of my proposed interactions are very precise apart from the spear on spear case and for that we can get skill shadows. It's not really much different as a builder in terms of precision or a bomber in the bazooka case.

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Those things (speed-based solutions and proper positioning) are precisely my main objection against all the projectile skills from Lemmings 2: The Tribes! The Thrower, the Spear Thrower, the Bazooker, the Mortar

I think you missunderstood proper positioning here. It's not the precision of the throw, just getting a lemming on the right area of the map.


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This is precisely why in the "suggest your own 10-skill panel" thread ("Defining the new classic 10 skills" was kind of re-purposed to that recently), I dropped the Floater in favour of the Glider - because the Glider can accomplish the same thing as a Floater (when it comes to saving a lemming from a single lethal drop) if you just assign it late enough.

A Glider can only "backfire" due to its diagonal trajectory once it has already been assigned, by taking a lemming too far and leaving the player no option to delay the opening of the parachute - but then again, the same can be said for the Floater: If you need to survive a straight drop first, and at the next drop, there is a gap or water there so that you would need a Glider instead, the Floater can blow up in the player's face just as much as the Glider can.

In general, I'd even argue that the better a skill gets one specific job done - and only that job - the less puzzle potential it has. Namely, the Floater, the Disarmer, and possibly the Swimmer. But the Swimmer still has the most puzzle potential of these three, and even that skill has been called obsolete by Proxima!

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But since I think we established that the number of different things you can do with the Floater is more limited, my argument is that the Floater is the one more worthy of being "replaced" by other skills.

If we would design an engine from scratch I would also propose some skill candidates ready for a cull. The floater would be on it. But we live in the reality that they are already implemented for a long time and much content relies on it and the existing content is the heart of the game.

The slider would be on it as well!


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Basically, the only difference is:
- IchoTolot suggests to use workarounds with other skills to replace the Slider
- I suggest using the Slider to create workarounds that can replace Floaters and Gliders

And there lies the problem with the slider!

Again: For a fresh engine where floaters and glider would not exist your point for the slider would be stronger.

 

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #61 on: March 24, 2020, 12:13:23 pm »
Quote
But why waste this last opportunity on a skill that just makes some interactions more backroute prone and on top of that doesn't really add anything completely new to the table?

Because adding something completely new can also open a new can of worms. ;) When the purpose of adding the final skill is to close NeoLemmix. The final skill should be like a lid that fits the already existing barrel - not stack another open barrel on top of the existing one. It should naturally fit in with what we already have while still providing something new. But ideally, it should not leave level designers craving for more of whatever the 20th skill introduces.

And modifying terrain at a distance is such a new ground. Why should there be a Spear Thrower, but not a Bazooker or Mortar? Or a Laser Blaster? Or even the Archer, which overall is much more versatile than the Spear Thrower, but simply takes a lot more effort to code?

Hence, I also think that order of release of skills is not particularly relevant here:

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The last 2 skills that were added are movement skills. I think it is also time to add to another group again.

Since this is going to be the final version of NeoLemmix, a couple of months after the implementation of the final skill, this "sequencing" will be less of an issue than simply the question what types of tools we have at our disposal in total. Especially new players joining next year will not know in which order Fencer, Shimmier, Jumper and 20th skill were implemented.

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You called it being a combination skill a plus point for the slider earlier:

[. . .]

Now it's a weak point.

No, I said the number of skills a given skill can interact with is the crucial factor.

A skill that only interacts with one other skill AND is only good in combination with that other skill - such as the Runner being essentially dependent on the Jumper, without modifying the behaviour of any other skill, in contrast to the Turbo Lemming - is not worthwhile on its own. Meaning, if a Spear Thrower can only create a bridge that lemmings can reliably walk onto through the interaction of the Builder specifically, that would be an argument not in its favour. I don't think the Spear Thrower is actually that limited, to be clear - but indeed I still have trouble imagining the bridging applications for the Spear Thrower in my head.

In contrast, a skill that interacts with several other skills can indeed be worthwhile. The extreme case would be the Cloner, which interacts with all non-lethal skills. The Slider can interact with Jumpers, Climbers, Shimmiers, Bombers/Stoners (by slipping into the gap / landing on the Stoner with already the correct position towards the wall to bash into that wall), and thus by extension also with Bashers/Miners/Fencers in new ways.

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You you say it yourself: The core is mostly redundant!

No, the core is weaker than the Floater, because it's more situational. The Slider is less overpowered in its core domain than the Floater, thereby reducing the "boringness" that arises from such a single-issue skill (extreme case: Disarmer). At the same time, it's not just a "strictly worse" Floater, like the Kayaker is a strictly worse Swimmer. This is important because I guess nobody would voluntarily use an objectively worse skill. Instead, the Slider makes up for his weaknesses in the Floater-specific application by adding in a whole bunch of new behaviours and interactions with several other skills. That is the part I was describing with "and then some". ;)

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I think you missunderstood proper positioning here. It's not the precision of the throw, just getting a lemming on the right area of the map.

Thank you for clarifying this! ;) I'm still not sure I understand your various ideas for "spear from above" and "spear from below". How would this work without the player controlling the angle at which the spear is thrown? Which would require Archer-like double-assignments, and namida has already ruled out those.

Would you suggest a parabolic trajectory for the spear, like for the Jumper? Or as the Mortar would also have it?
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Lemmicks, a pack for (very old) NeoLemmix 1.43 full of gimmicks, 170 levels

Online IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #62 on: March 24, 2020, 01:12:19 pm »
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Because adding something completely new can also open a new can of worms. ;) When the purpose of adding the final skill is to close NeoLemmix. The final skill should be like a lid that fits the already existing barrel - not stack another open barrel on top of the existing one. It should naturally fit in with what we already have while still providing something new. But ideally, it should not leave level designers craving for more of whatever the 20th skill introduces.

And modifying terrain at a distance is such a new ground. Why should there be a Spear Thrower, but not a Bazooker or Mortar? Or a Laser Blaster? Or even the Archer, which overall is much more versatile than the Spear Thrower, but simply takes a lot more effort to code?

That's why I suggested the thrower/bazooka again. It's not a new can of worms, but adds something we lack. The range is new, but it's just a projectile, with always the same arc, that interacts with the first thing it hits, plain and simple.

I'm totally open for the spearer or bazooka/mortar discussion and I am open for both options. I think the laser blaster provides less in terms of use cases, but even that I would prefer over the slider.
Even if a new skill is introduced that provides something interesting and new I am open for it, but I just think the slider isn't it.


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Since this is going to be the final version of NeoLemmix, a couple of months after the implementation of the final skill, this "sequencing" will be less of an issue than simply the question what types of tools we have at our disposal in total. Especially new players joining next year will not know in which order Fencer, Shimmier, Jumper and 20th skill were implemented.

My point there rather was:

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Also, the parkour options are really getting out of hand I fear and the specific combinations seem to make the game more complex than it needs to be and it already is complex.

I think the whole movement/parkour thing really gets out of hand. I think the jumper adds enough and we should not overdo it.

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A skill that only interacts with one other skill AND is only good in combination with that other skill - such as the Runner being essentially dependent on the Jumper, without modifying the behaviour of any other skill, in contrast to the Turbo Lemming - is not worthwhile on its own. Meaning, if a Spear Thrower can only create a bridge that lemmings can reliably walk onto through the interaction of the Builder specifically, that would be an argument not in its favour. I don't think the Spear Thrower is actually that limited, to be clear - but indeed I still have trouble imagining the bridging applications for the Spear Thrower in my head.

I think me explaining all the interactions again and try to draw them in with symbols in here would be overkill.

A test version would be needed at this point for visualisation.

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In contrast, a skill that interacts with several other skills can indeed be worthwhile. The extreme case would be the Cloner, which interacts with all non-lethal skills. The Slider can interact with Jumpers, Climbers, Shimmiers, Bombers/Stoners (by slipping into the gap / landing on the Stoner with already the correct position towards the wall to bash into that wall), and thus by extension also with Bashers/Miners/Fencers in new ways.

But all these interactions are again pretty similar to things we already have.

You just set your eye on the pure possibilities here, but not on the actual gain itself.


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No, the core is weaker than the Floater, because it's more situational. The Slider is less overpowered in its core domain than the Floater, thereby reducing the "boringness" that arises from such a single-issue skill (extreme case: Disarmer). At the same time, it's not just a "strictly worse" Floater, like the Kayaker is a strictly worse Swimmer. This is important because I guess nobody would voluntarily use an objectively worse skill. Instead, the Slider makes up for his weaknesses in the Floater-specific application by adding in a whole bunch of new behaviours and interactions with several other skills. That is the part I was describing with "and then some".

So you are advertising a skill that has a weaker core than the floater and depends entirely on other skills to be less boring than a floater. On top of that, for the last skill especially, that does not get me in, sorry.

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Thank you for clarifying this! ;) I'm still not sure I understand your various ideas for "spear from above" and "spear from below". How would this work without the player controlling the angle at which the spear is thrown? Which would require Archer-like double-assignments, and namida has already ruled out those.

Would you suggest a parabolic trajectory for the spear, like for the Jumper? Or as the Mortar would also have it?

No double assignment! You assign the skill and the lemming throws/shoots immidietly and the projectile arc begins. For the spear the angle in which the projectile hits terrain determines the shape of the added terrain.
The only thing the player needs to change to aim the skill the the position of the thrower - so where the arc begins.
Just imagine a standard throw trajectory if you would throw a stone off a cliff. First you gain heigth then fall down again while the width gain begomes lower and lower changing the angle in the process.
So basically a jumper that does not simply fall straight down after the arc, but still has some width gain left that slowly becomes less over time.

If a spear hits terrain above it will most likely hit at the peak of the arc and create a mostly horizontal terrain piece.
If a spear hits terrain on the same level the angle will most likely be something around 45 degree and creates something like a little upwards ramp for lemmings.
If a spear hits terrain below it will hit at a more extreme angle and create a more steep piece of terrain with less width. The angle will also be a bit more extreme if the spear hits at the very start of the arc.

Offline Proxima

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #63 on: March 24, 2020, 02:11:29 pm »
It might be a good idea to draw up a list of the skills in their respective categories and see which list has the least skills on it (I would do that, but I'm not sure I'd be the best person to do this coz I'm not 100% sure which skills fit into which category).

I don't feel up to replying to Strato and Icho's long posts and fully unpacking their arguments and deciding how I feel about them, but this at least I can do :P

Constructive: Builder, Platformer, Stacker, Stoner (4)
Destructive: Basher, Miner, Digger, Fencer, Bomber (5)
Movement: Walker, Jumper, Shimmier, Climber, Floater, Glider, Swimmer (7)
Other:
* Blocker could be considered a non-movement skill, and affects the movement of other lemmings.
* Disarmer is the only skill that interacts directly with traps, putting it in a category of its own.
* Cloner is a unique skill that can duplicate a constructive, destructive or movement skill.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #64 on: March 24, 2020, 08:38:30 pm »
I think at this point people have simply become emotionally attached to whatever skill they fancy the most: Basically, I see three factions:

- the Runner / Turbo-Lemming side
- the Slider side
- IchoTolot with the Spear Thrower (if anyone else has this as their primary choice, please correct me?)

Honestly, I probably could be convinced of the Spear Thrower in terms of a compromise - which would be the Roper. Since the Roper's main weakness is the limitation of the length of his rope, there is a point in L2 where the rope tears and the hook at its other end flies as a projectile of its own.

This projectile could still be used for most of the uses IchoTolot proposed for the Spear Thrower - like breaking a fall in a way similar to a Stoner, but at a distance, or shooting this hook through a tunnel created by destructive skills etc - while the rope itself could be used in even more various ways than the spear (especially because it would also be a little longer than the spear).

The problem is that the Roper, at least in its L2 form, requires a double assignment like the Archer, which namida has already ruled out.

So the question would be whether something similar can be implemented with just a single assignment.


@IchoTolot: I think you would agree that the Roper is more versatile than the Spear Thrower in general? ;) The Roper can accomplish all the things you want, but makes creating walkable slopes and bridges a little easier.
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Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #65 on: March 24, 2020, 09:46:09 pm »
Constructive: Builder, Platformer, Stacker, Stoner (4)
Destructive: Basher, Miner, Digger, Fencer, Bomber (5)
Movement: Walker, Jumper, Shimmier, Climber, Floater, Glider, Swimmer (7)
Other:
* Blocker could be considered a non-movement skill, and affects the movement of other lemmings.
* Disarmer is the only skill that interacts directly with traps, putting it in a category of its own.
* Cloner is a unique skill that can duplicate a constructive, destructive or movement skill.

Hmmm. In that case maybe another constructive skill would be in order... either that or another "other"....

Online IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #66 on: March 24, 2020, 11:26:39 pm »
The roper is interesting indeed, but it is really extremely powerful. Like EXTREMELY. If you have a roper all other construction skills are inferior if there is terrain around and this can be very big trouble.

I played through L2 and the roper is by far the most useful skill out there. I think it's is too powerful, that's also a reason I went with the spear/bazooka route and did not try to find a single assignment method for the roper.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #67 on: March 25, 2020, 01:31:46 am »
I think many of the skills proposed are potentially good additions and it's too bad that we are forced to pick one.

I've entirely skipped over Icho and Strato's lengthy feud, but I will say this:  back when both geoo and I were active in creating custom Lemmings 2 levels, both of us did end up using the spearer and thrower skills quite a bit.  I know at least 3 of my 6 or 7 levels did end up using the spearer, and I think I also used thrower in one level but admittedly in a somewhat less traditional way.  I recall at least 1 geoo level using the spearer and 1 using the thrower, and he made around 6-8 levels as well IIRC.

To do it right, you don't want to use those skills like you would with builders, in particular while you could require repeated, multiple-times usage of the skill to build up a larger path or structure, I would argue that's genrally a very suboptimal use of those kinds of skills; leave that kind of thing to your regular old builders instead.  The action-at-a-distance is really what makes those skills unique compared to your regular construction skills.  It makes it so that when you are required to use the skill, you probably cannot use your hero right at the spot to do it, you instead need someone a bit farther back--maybe it's someone from the crowd, or maybe it's another lemming you have to release later to trail behind the hero.  Or maybe it's just your hero but at an earlier time in the level, meaning you have to plan ahead and anticipate the need to throw, and make the assignment accordingly.  Or maybe you do need to temporarily steer your hero back instead of ahead, in order to get back to the position needed to throw.  You get the idea.

The projectile skills also naturally allow you to place terrain into locations that are otherwise completely unreachable to a lemming, or otherwise takes too much effort (eg. skills) to reach.  This in turn allows you to start opening up new pathways in the level that cannot otherwise be opened any other way, or cannot be opened without using too many other skills.  You wouldn't want to be forced to build an entire path out of these throwing skills alone, but you can often start with the throwing skills to start opening up a path, that you can then perhaps send lemmings over to extend it via more traditional skills to complete the path.

I think it's easy to overlook the spearer and thrower skills if you go purely by the official Lemmings 2 levels; as far as I can remember, almost no levels there ever made good use of those skills, in fact some arguably makes "bad" use of them (eg. that Highland level with the word "throw" in the title).  Then again, I don't think any of the official Lemmings 2 levels make good use of skills like slider either, so basically, think a little deeper than what you see in Lemmings 2 when evaluating these potential new skils.

Again, I'm unable to make a choice between say slider and spearer; each seems interesting and worthwhile in their own way and I'd rather not have to pick at all, but well, you can't always get what you want.

Offline Dullstar

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #68 on: March 25, 2020, 06:29:14 am »
EDIT: I'm leaving this post for historical reasons, but I am no longer opposed to the Slider. I do still stand by the points about topics other than the Slider.



I've mostly been staying out of this discussion so far, but now that there's been some debate back and forth on various skills, I'd like to share a thought of mine.

I know 20 skills seems like a nice, round number to have. But it's not like this number is ever seen in game, since the skill limit is lower. I think future skill additions should be evaluated on whether or not they are good additions to the game, rather than how many skills would be in the game as a result of the outcome of the decision regarding whether or not to add the skill - though, of course, the existing skills need to be considered! More skills = more stuff to remember, so we should consider what the new skill would bring to the table while also considering what we already have.

I am not a fan of the slider. I feel it overlaps too much with the floater - there isn't a lot of puzzle potential that it would create that isn't already possible with the existing skills, and it would become another interaction to remember when considering things like how it should interact with jumpers and climbers. You could reduce the overlap by making it non-permanent, but when considering which skills are permanent and which ones aren't, it really doesn't feel like it should be non-permanent. Its similarity to the floater would also make me question why not have the Rock Climber, which would basically be a climber that can handle overhangs similar to what shimmiers can handle as well as having this synergy with the shimmier that was rejected for the regular climber (for the record, I think the current shimmier implementation was the right call, since the regular climber can't handle overhangs). I'm not really sure the rock climber would add much to the game, but the reason I bring it up is that I don't think it would make sense to have three different non-terrain altering ways to get lemmings down from a ledge that's too high, but only one non-terrain altering way to get them up. One extra way can provide something for lemming sorting puzzles to work, but the glider already gives us a way to do that going down, so what does the slider really bring to the table? One of the other proposed movement-based skills, the runner, is something that I think has more abuse potential (I really, really don't like precise timing levels) than puzzle potential (as there are already many, many ways to separate lemmings from crowds). It exists in Lix, but Lix has multiplayer, which is where I think the runner has the most potential. Even without the implication that it will be the last new skill ever, I do not feel prepared to endorse either of these skills as future additions to the game.

I think of the skills that have been suggested, the projectile skills have the most potential. It takes enough other skills to replicate the functionality that it creates lots of backroute potential when working around the fact they don't exist -  if the puzzle can even be made to work without them. But I don't think it makes sense to implement a ranged construction skill, but not a ranged destructive skill (or vice versa). That would bring us to 21 skills, which isn't as nice of a number as 20, but... does that really matter?
« Last Edit: April 12, 2020, 07:28:03 am by Dullstar »

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #69 on: March 25, 2020, 07:22:20 pm »
So, I'm just rewatching IchoTolot's Let's Play of Lemmings 2, looking for applications of the Spearer. Even though the Spearer appeared on the skill panel, it wasn't used so far (Beach, Outdoor, and Egyptian tribe at the moment). Though IchoTolot did mention repeatedly in that Let's Play how he really doesn't like the Slider :P .

Quote
why not have the Rock Climber, which would basically be a climber that can handle overhangs similar to what shimmiers can handle as well as having this synergy with the shimmier that was rejected for the regular climber

As I said earlier, in Lemmings 2 this "flipping around the corner" behaviour is typical of the Shimmier and independent of whether the lemming is a Rock Climber or just a regular Climber - as long as he can climb one way or the other, the Shimmier will flip around the corner and transition back into a (Rock) Climber. He will only fall down if he is just a Shimmier (i.e. got to the ceiling by jumping, rather than by dangling and then being assigned a Shimmier). Dangling from the ceiling is something only the Rock Climber can do; the regular Climber will just fall down immediately when hitting a sloped or flat ceiling.

The Shimmier however can't go up or down sloped ceilings in Lemmings 2; he will immediately start dangling and fall down as well. Sloped ceilings are exclusively reserved for the Rock Climber in Lemmings 2, meaning he will always look the other way compared to the Shimmier. Since we didn't want to have that close overlap between Climber and Rock Climber, the Shimmier was powered up in NeoLemmix in this regard, as to make the Rock Climber even more redundant.

I do think Climber and Rock Climber are more closely related than Slider and Floater though; Glider and Floater are much more comparable, I'd say, yet we still have both ;) .

Quote
but the reason I bring it up is that I don't think it would make sense to have three different non-terrain altering ways to get lemmings down from a ledge that's too high, but only one non-terrain altering way to get them up.

Well, you could argue that both the Jumper and the Shimmier are non-terrain-altering ways to get lemmings up... non-terrain-altering is definitely true, and the "getting up" happens through the fact that both skills jump. Of course, a lot of times, a Shimmier requires a Climber to even get to the ceiling, but even when he doesn't, it's still an upward-moving skill. Of course, once he is attached to the ceiling, that ceiling can take him up or down, depending on its overall shape. But he's still traveling at a higher altitude than he was before.

But if you want more upward-moving skills: I think nobody has brought up the Super Lem (the L2 one, not ONML) yet? ;)

It's the only flying skill from L2 that doesn't involve the annoying fan tool, and I agree with IchoTolot's statement from the LP that it's easy enough to use. It would also add something completely new, because it allows a lemming to move freely, but always straight to the position the courser is currently placed. By pausing and hitting play again, even in L2 you can control this skill quite nicely - with framestepping and rewinding in NeoLemmix, of course it would be even less of a problem.

Quote
One of the other proposed movement-based skills, the runner, is something that I think has more abuse potential (I really, really don't like precise timing levels) than puzzle potential (as there are already many, many ways to separate lemmings from crowds). It exists in Lix, but Lix has multiplayer, which is where I think the runner has the most potential. Even without the implication that it will be the last new skill ever, I do not feel prepared to endorse either of these skills as future additions to the game.

Thanks for bringing up this distinction! ;) Indeed, I can imagine that when competing with other players, speed by itself can be a key factor. In a single-player game such as NeoLemmix, however, I agree with you that I don't see much use for the Runner aside from adding execution difficulty through timing-based solutions - while players who like these kinds of solutions still have the Jumper to isolate a pioneer lemming from a free-flowing crowd.

Quote
I think of the skills that have been suggested, the projectile skills have the most potential. It takes enough other skills to replicate the functionality that it creates lots of backroute potential when working around the fact they don't exist -  if the puzzle can even be made to work without them. But I don't think it makes sense to implement a ranged construction skill, but not a ranged destructive skill (or vice versa). That would bring us to 21 skills, which isn't as nice of a number as 20, but... does that really matter?

Quote
I think many of the skills proposed are potentially good additions and it's too bad that we are forced to pick one.

I think it would be helpful if namida defined again what he means by "final version of NeoLemmix".

Obviously, we all get that at some point he's tired of adding new stuff to the game and wanting to wrap up his work on it. But since the code is open source and freely available, I guess nobody could stop another interested user with skills in C / C+ / C++ / C# (I forgot which of these New-Formats NeoLemmix was written in again ;) ) from picking up after namida and maybe adding further skills in the future.

Even if this would count as a separate thing from "official and finalised NeoLemmix" (which could remain in a state where it always has 20 skills), a separate engine could start with the latest version of the NeoLemmix source code, and then simply work its way from there.

I already brought up the idea of Nepster maybe returning after the Jumper has been implemented... although I remember Nepster more for removing stuff from NeoLemmix than for adding much... :P But we need to remember that the Shimmier was still implemented by him.



Anyhow, if there's a general interest in the community in having further skills some time in the far future, who knows? Maybe someone else with knowledge in these programming languages will join the community... we could even try advertising NeoLemmix deliberately on platforms for these programming languages... and that someone might say:

"Do you know what's an even better number of skills to have than 20? 24! Because that's three sets of standard-eight!" :thumbsup:

And then we can add the Slider, the Spearer, the Laser Blaster for upward digging, and the Roper for downward building... :D

But as I said, right now, such considerations would be "little finger - whole arm" ;) .


And no, I'm of course not calling for any other programmers to "steal namida's baby" and take over ;) . Quite the opposite - we have already seen namida giving his baby NeoLemmix into Nepster's part-time foster care, at a time when namida himself didn't want to be involved in NeoLemmix development all that much; until he took over again when Nepster went on a hiatus.

Who says something like that can't happen again?
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 Proxima

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #70 on: March 25, 2020, 07:38:35 pm »
I think it would be helpful if namida defined again what he means by "final version of NeoLemmix".

Namida answered that here:

Reaching a final version isn't about implementing, or even considering, every idea anyone can possibly think of. It's about deciding at some point "this is enough, this is going to be NL's final list of features, and no more additions will happen'.

Of course, as it's open-source, someone else could take over, either under the NeoLemmix name (if the community chooses to accept their new versions) or a fork under a new name, similar to how NeoLemmix itself forked from Lemmix.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #71 on: March 25, 2020, 07:51:58 pm »
Thanks, I had just read up on again myself! ;) So that does indeed suggest namida isn't going to go out of his way to stop another motivated user to found "RadoLemmix" (naming it after the next noble gas in line :P ) with many more skills.

In general, I'm glad to see several people in the community don't object to an abundance of different skills in principle. As I said earlier, while I do think there are a multitude of problems with Lemmings 2 - no replay feature, not even a quick restart in the Amiga version, combined with extreme execution difficulty in terms of the fan, the chain, cannons, catapults, tumbler physics etc. - the large selection of skills isn't one of them. That is, as long as proper thought is put into every single one of them, and they are introduced slowly enough so that people can come up with decent ideas for each of them.

Clearly, this latter part did not happen during the development of L2, and functionally equivalent skills to existing ones (Club Basher, Scooper, Stomper are all clones of the Basher, Miner, and Digger, respectively) were introduced for what seems to have been just for the sake of it. If we can avoid this type of redundancy and only ever introduce any new skill after careful consideration for its novel applications, I think the total number of skills NeoLemmix can or should have is secondary.

After all, nobody forces level designers to make use of all the skills in existence in every single one of their packs. In fact, we've already found out that there seems to be a certain "bias" for just the good old classic 8 skills, i.e. a voluntary restriction of level designers to use just those throughout several entire packs.

Therefore, I don't see a particular danger of "overload" for New Players; they could simply be pointed to easier and less complex packs. This is vital anyway, since whether a pack has few different skill types or not is utterly irrelevant for its complexity if that pack happens to be called NepsterLems.
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Btw, Here's a challenge for our "spirte master" WillLem: Do you want to "implement" the Club Basher, Scooper, and Stomper into NeoLemmix? ;) Simply make a new sprite set where the Club Basher sprite is used for the Basher, the Scooper sprite is used for the Miner, and the Stomper sprite is used for the Digger! :D Kind of like the Lix digger has a drill, i.e. a different tool, but still does the same thing. We would just have to hope that each of these animations has an equal number of frames as the original... and the path it carves out in the terrain would obviously have to be identical (the "real" Scooper creates a slightly different path than a Miner in L2, but the applications are functionally equivalent).
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: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #72 on: March 25, 2020, 08:05:52 pm »
Quote
We would just have to hope that each of these animations has an equal number of frames as the original...

There's a bit more freedom than this. On a technical level, the animation can usually have any number of frames. Off the top of my head, the only special case so far is the WIP Jumper - which must have at least 3 (but is still free to have more than 3). That aside, in some cases it's pointless to have more - a shrugger or reacher, for example, only remains in that state for a certain number of frames in any case, so while you could have less (and it would loop), there'd be no point in having more because they wouldn't be seen.

In practice, of course, it might look weird if the new animation isn't the same number of frames, or at least a multiple or integer divisor of it.

But this is a bit off-topic for this topic.

Also, I'd like to remind everyone: I have already said the Slider is under consideration. Arguments against it in this topic aren't really worthwhile at this point. Save that for a later discussion where we try to pick between the best candidates.

I do see Icho's point about that it's worthwhile considering projectile constructive skills, so I've added that to the list of stuff that I'm willing to consider - though labelling it as "under consideration" would need to see more community support, which I am fully aware may not have come yet because prior to this it could essentially be ruled out under "Any other L2 skills" (which was my intention, but Icho's posts have caused me to rethink this). So if you do like such an idea - and this doesn't have to be specifically "I like it more than the Slider", just "I think it's worth giving serious consideration to" - then speak up now. :)

Offline Proxima

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #73 on: March 25, 2020, 08:29:37 pm »
I do see Icho's point about that it's worthwhile considering projectile constructive skills, so I've added that to the list of stuff that I'm willing to consider - though labelling it as "under consideration" would need to see more community support, which I am fully aware may not have come yet because prior to this it could essentially be ruled out under "Any other L2 skills" (which was my intention, but Icho's posts have caused me to rethink this). So if you do like such an idea - and this doesn't have to be specifically "I like it more than the Slider", just "I think it's worth giving serious consideration to" - then speak up now. :)

Okay :) On my side, I have doubts about the Spear-thrower because, if I remember rightly, the position you throw from could determine the angle the spear ends up having when it lands, so it could get very fiddly even with the help of skill shadows. Still, I do see the benefit of being able to add terrain from a distance, and especially adding a platform to stop fallers halfway down a wall, allowing them to interact with the wall. I think, compared to my original list, I would put Spear-thrower (or other ranged constructive) as my third choice, after slider and ranged destructive.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #74 on: March 25, 2020, 09:11:36 pm »
So, I'm just rewatching IchoTolot's Let's Play of Lemmings 2, looking for applications of the Spearer. Even though the Spearer appeared on the skill panel, it wasn't used so far (Beach, Outdoor, and Egyptian tribe at the moment). Though IchoTolot did mention repeatedly in that Let's Play how he really doesn't like the Slider :P .

I said it before in one of my posts, but worth repeating:  don't evaluate a Lemmings 2 skill based purely on how it was used in the official levels.  The official levels arguably don't really do justice to many of the skills added to Lemmings 2.

It saddens me a little that so many people seem to think of the slider merely as yet another way to get a lemming safely down a fatal fall, a kind of floater alternative apparently.  If level authors seem unable to use the skill better than just that, then maybe it's not worth introducing, not because the skill is bad but because it seems like maybe no one will make good use of it anyway, apparently. :-\

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #75 on: March 25, 2020, 09:14:40 pm »
Quote
though labelling it as "under consideration" would need to see more community support

Just gathering posts of people that at least mentioned interest in a ranged projectile based constructive/destructive skill:

- Dullstar  (https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=4686.msg80765#msg80765)
- ccexplore (https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=4686.msg80764#msg80764)
- mobius (https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=4686.msg80685#msg80685)
- Proxima (https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=4686.msg80774#msg80774)

- Myself

WillLem I am not quite sure.

I think that deserves the label "under consideration".

I would put it in as ranged projectile skill though as the decision between spear or bazooka would be more reasonable to make if it actually gets chosen. Then the discussion for constrive or destructive skill can emerge.

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #76 on: March 25, 2020, 09:27:51 pm »
I do see Icho's point about that it's worthwhile considering projectile constructive skills, so I've added that to the list of stuff that I'm willing to consider - though labelling it as "under consideration" would need to see more community support, which I am fully aware may not have come yet because prior to this it could essentially be ruled out under "Any other L2 skills" (which was my intention, but Icho's posts have caused me to rethink this). So if you do like such an idea - and this doesn't have to be specifically "I like it more than the Slider", just "I think it's worth giving serious consideration to" - then speak up now. :)

Okay :) On my side, I have doubts about the Spear-thrower because, if I remember rightly, the position you throw from could determine the angle the spear ends up having when it lands, so it could get very fiddly even with the help of skill shadows. Still, I do see the benefit of being able to add terrain from a distance, and especially adding a platform to stop fallers halfway down a wall, allowing them to interact with the wall. I think, compared to my original list, I would put Spear-thrower (or other ranged constructive) as my third choice, after slider and ranged destructive.

For this reason I've generalized it to "A ranged constructive skill". The specifics / thematic aspects can be figured out later.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #77 on: March 25, 2020, 09:46:46 pm »
I think, compared to my original list, I would put Spear-thrower (or other ranged constructive) as my third choice, after slider and ranged destructive.

One thing to note is that in contrast to the ranged constructive skills, I don't recall either geoo nor I ever used any of the ranged destructive skills in any of our custom L2 levels, or in most other custom L2 levels that I recall.  Although, I did not played Kieran's levels though (and there're a lot of levels there), so it's quite possible ranged destructive skills are featured a lot more there.  geoo did complete those levels and may be able to chime in on how much or little ranged destructive skills have been used there, and how puzzle-worthy or not they seem at least for those levels.

It's also possible that since L2 has ubiquitous explosion knockback effect, ranged destructive skills were avoided for that reason.  Although if the target is far enough from the lemming the knockback should not have affected anyone.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #78 on: March 25, 2020, 10:08:01 pm »
Quote
If level authors seem unable to use the skill better than just that, then maybe it's not worth introducing, not because the skill is bad but because it seems like maybe no one will make good use of it anyway, apparently.

Well, the idea that it's "just another Floater" has mainly been aired by the Slider's opponents ;) . For those who support it, I'm pretty confident they would try out every possible interaction that skill has to offer! :thumbsup: And in doing so, they may also inspire those who originally didn't like the skill to try those ideas themselves.
My packs so far:
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Paralems (Old Formats), a more flavour-driven one, 150 levels
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Lemmicks, a pack for (very old) NeoLemmix 1.43 full of gimmicks, 170 levels

Online IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #79 on: March 25, 2020, 10:51:44 pm »
To address the worries about precision in terms of the spear thrower, we could consider making the spear 2 pixels thick and rather a bit longer than shorter.

I also thought a bit more about further use cases for a spear thrower:

- Providing a floor for an object than is in mid air.
- A diagonal spear on flat ground could enable a platformer to be assigned there.
- A diagonal spear on flat ground could go over a smaller trigger area of a trap/teleporter.
- A vertical spear on the ground (thrown from above) could act as a blockade. This requires the level designer to choose the right height for the thowers platform --> no precision for the player.
- A spear on the ground could enable a delay in terms of a possible basher assignment.
- A diagonal spear on the ground could help a glider to gain enough height to start gliding. Also helpful for a jumper/shimmier.

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #80 on: March 25, 2020, 11:38:21 pm »
There has been talk of the 20th skill bringing something totally new, so I've been doing some thinking about ideas which are both novel and useful.

Here's something that hasn't been thought of yet, and may seem a bit jokey, but which might actually be a good idea:

The Randomer - when a lemming is in immediate danger and you just need something to get them out of it, the Randomer places the lemming somewhere else in the level that's a) safe and b) away from the other lemmings.

I feel that this would also introduce a fun element of unpredictability to the game: if we're looking for a skill that will bring something completely new to the table, this would definitely fit the bill!

However, to maybe reduce the potential ridiculousness of this idea, maybe...

The Resetter - moves the lemming back to the exact place they landed when they fell out of the entrance hatch. This would have way more puzzle potential than the Randomer (particularly if the terrain around the entrance hatch area has been changed) and would obviously be more predictable.

And, another idea that keeps occurring to me:

The Sleeper - the lemming falls asleep in their current position and stays there until assigned another skill or "rescued" in the same manner as a Blocker (i.e. by removing the terrain directly below them). They do not block other lemmings, but they can be assigned any other skill from their current position. This could be extremely useful for lining up several worker lemmings who can then perform a number of simultaneous tasks (without having to spam the level with Blocker/Walkers, for instance). If the idea of the lemming being "asleep" seems a bit counter-intuitive, maybe the skill could simply be The Waiter...

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #81 on: March 26, 2020, 12:05:11 am »
Quote
The Resetter - moves the lemming back to the exact place they landed when they fell out of the entrance hatch. This would have way more puzzle potential than the Randomer (particularly if the terrain around the entrance hatch area has been changed) and would obviously be more predictable.

This has potential.

I would rule it this way:

Every lemming goes back to their spawn point when assigned. Hatch or preplacer position.

Possibility of permanent skill reset as well.

I think I would still favor a spear thrower, but this has some potential. I would rank this higher than a slider to be honest.

EDIT: Again currently we have movement skills the most. Especially a constructive skill would be a good addition variety wise.

Offline DireKrow

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #82 on: March 26, 2020, 12:17:34 am »
Resetter seems cool, but I don't like the name, Warper or something is preferred for me. I agree with Icho's adjustments. I also agree with the concern that it's another single lemming movement skill, albeit a particularly cool one. I'd prefer something the crowd can use. Also, it's possibly redundant with the teleporter object.

I like the spear thrower or rock thrower. I think the precision concerns can be alleviated by making the skill shadow show the spear's trajectory. I'm also fond of something that digs up, like the laser blaster. Pourers might be cool too.

I don't like the slider. It's another single lemming movement skill after we just got two (Shimmier, Jumper), and its role of going down ledges is already covered quite well by Floaters, Gliders and Stones, not to mention downwards destruction skills and construction skills to make safe platforms and ledges. Yeah a slider can get into an alcove without having to prep it, but I don't think that one very specific use case justifies its existence.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2020, 12:43:12 am by DireKrow »
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Offline ccexplore

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #83 on: March 26, 2020, 12:21:46 am »
I think we can reject the randomer right away.  Even if we ignore that the general sentiment of this community would likely be against anything with unpredictable behavior, it leaves too much potential to open up a backroute because someone got lucky that one time and the randomer ends up placing the lemming in a really good spot that is otherwise impossible to reach.

Maybe if the randomer always teleports the lemming to a fixed location specified by the level author, in which case it'd be like a resetter but not limited to entrances.

=============

The resetter is basically like a teleporter but in skill form, although it'd also reset whatever skill the lemming was performing at time of assignment, so in that way it has a little element of a walker.  I will concede that it might have some potential puzzle-wise.  It might be a bit too out-there though compared with other skills--all the other skills have lemmings doing stuff that are realistic and not magical like teleporting.

=============

The sleeper sounds similar to L2's attractor, except it only affects the lemming assigned to, rather than also causing nearby lemmings to stop.  It definitely does overlap a little with blockers and walkers.

Overall I'm not particularly enthused by the proposed skills, but aside from the randomer I don't have any strong objections per se either.  :-\

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #84 on: March 26, 2020, 12:23:12 am »
Quote
The Randomer - when a lemming is in immediate danger and you just need something to get them out of it, the Randomer places the lemming somewhere else in the level that's a) safe and b) away from the other lemmings.

I feel that this would also introduce a fun element of unpredictability to the game: if we're looking for a skill that will bring something completely new to the table, this would definitely fit the bill!

However, to maybe reduce the potential ridiculousness of this idea, maybe...

I think by now you've figured out that unpredictability is the last thing the NeoLemmix community at large would want to be added to the game :P .

Quote
The Sleeper - the lemming falls asleep in their current position and stays there until assigned another skill or "rescued" in the same manner as a Blocker (i.e. by removing the terrain directly below them). They do not block other lemmings, but they can be assigned any other skill from their current position. This could be extremely useful for lining up several worker lemmings who can then perform a number of simultaneous tasks (without having to spam the level with Blocker/Walkers, for instance). If the idea of the lemming being "asleep" seems a bit counter-intuitive, maybe the skill could simply be The Waiter...

This can already be done - and is already being done - with the Blocker on many advanced levels, and the Blocker is perfectly sufficient for this.
The Blocker is basically just there to let a lemming "stand" somewhere until needed (but the challenge is freeing him from that position). In an easy level, this could happen via a Walker, or a Walker pickup skill that needs to be collected first. In advanced levels, it will usually happen in more inocuous ways, such as removing the terrain under the Blocker's feet, but it's not obvious with which skill this is needs to be done.

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The Resetter - moves the lemming back to the exact place they landed when they fell out of the entrance hatch. This would have way more puzzle potential than the Randomer (particularly if the terrain around the entrance hatch area has been changed) and would obviously be more predictable.

Like IchoTolot, I would agree that this has the most puzzle potential out of your three suggestions. But I hold against that: Definitely not more than the Slider. ;)

In a lot of situations, what the Resetter accomplishes could just as well be done by placing a teleporter where the Resetter is supposed to be assigned. Of course a skill can be assigned anywhere, in contrast to an object - but precisely that can also easily make it broken. Keep in mind you're technically talking about a Teleporter skill here, even if it's limited to taking the lemming back to the hatch.

Usually, this would be applied after the path for the crowd has been prepared. Meaning, the way from the hatch is already safe. So it would immediately get the worker lemming back on that safe path as well, rather than maybe having to find a separate path for him because he has permanent skills that prevent him from just going along with the crowd. In such a situation, I actually see the skill reducing puzzle potential, because it makes something easier that would be more challenging and interesting otherwise.

And in turn, if there's still some work to be done on the side of the hatch, why not simply have a lemming from the crowd do it, instead of teleporting the worker back to the hatch? There's no need to enforce everything being done by the pioneer - in fact, a lot of players might consider that somewhat boring, because "pioneer" levels sometimes get frowned at by the more advanced players here. (Because those levels involve crowd containment rather than flow control.)
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Offline ccexplore

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #85 on: March 26, 2020, 12:39:18 am »
Okay :) On my side, I have doubts about the Spear-thrower because, if I remember rightly, the position you throw from could determine the angle the spear ends up having when it lands, so it could get very fiddly even with the help of skill shadows.

I think the spearer needs to have change in angle to be an effective skill, but if people are ok with things not looking quite as realistic, we could perhaps make the angle changes more discrete rather than continuous.  So in other words, maybe there're only 4-5 different angles the spear is ever at despite the trajectory itself being smooth parabola.  At various points in the trajectory, the spear's angle would abruptly go from one angle to the next.

A slightly different visual, but similar idea, is instead of a spear, the thing you are throwing looks more like a small ball (like a thrower), but when the ball sticks is when a rod would extend and poke out of the ball to create the line of terrain like a spear would, and the angle at which it does so is dependent on how the ball was moving when it was stopped, but still only a discrete small set of angles.  So really the same ending effect as the spear thrower, but you don't have to see abruptly-changing angles while the projectile is still traveling.

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #86 on: March 26, 2020, 03:05:18 am »
Resetter, or some variation thereof, could be considered if there's enough interest.

Sleeper is rejected. Basically - I found myself wondering if this would be too similar to the blocker, and/or worthwhile enough. I was going to put it as "I'll think about this and come back to it", but then I realised - if I'm unsure about it like that, even if I were to say "willing to consider" for now, it's pretty sure that it won't be one that makes it. Thus, may as well rule it out now.

And let's keep this thread to serious suggestions, please. Use the joke ideas thread for stuff like the Randomer. Suggestions that are very unusual but have real potential - such as the Resetter - are welcome, but anything involving a random aspect, by this point I shouldn't even need to mention that it's obviously not a good fit for NeoLemmix's principles, let alone explain why. (For reference, the joke idea topic was linked primarily in case any semi-serious suggestions within could be a starting point for ideas. However, new semi-serious starting points that are still clearly falling under "joke ideas" overall, belong in that topic, not this one.)
« Last Edit: March 26, 2020, 03:52:37 am by namida »

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #87 on: March 26, 2020, 11:08:47 am »
I think by now you've figured out that unpredictability is the last thing the NeoLemmix community at large would want to be added to the game :P .

I know, but there has been talk of bringing something completely new and different to the table, so... ;P

The Sleeper...
This can already be done - and is already being done - with the Blocker on many advanced levels, and the Blocker is perfectly sufficient for this.

Sure, but I thought that it might be preferable to spamming a level with Blockers and Walkers, both of which can be backroute-prone. That said, I've recently seen a few such levels (i.e. using Blockers with Walker pickups) and they're actually not that backroute-prone at all! I guess it depends how it's done.

the Resetter...
Usually, this would be applied after the path for the crowd has been prepared. Meaning, the way from the hatch is already safe.

Actually (and this is the distinction I'd make with the Resetter), I think they should reset to the place where they landed, and not simply re-spawn from the hatch. That way, if terrain and stuff has changed around/beneath the entrance hatch, it could potentially start them off on a totally different route (after having picked up pickup skills that allow this, for instance).

And in turn, if there's still some work to be done on the side of the hatch, why not simply have a lemming from the crowd do it, instead of teleporting the worker back to the hatch? There's no need to enforce everything being done by the pioneer - in fact, a lot of players might consider that somewhat boring, because "pioneer" levels sometimes get frowned at by the more advanced players here. (Because those levels involve crowd containment rather than flow control.)

To be fair, at no point in my suggestion did I specifically mention that the Resetter would always be used for pioneer lemmings; I just mentioned a lemming that's in immediate trouble.

In actuality, with this skill, any lemming can be transported immediately back to their landing spot. I'd say that actually opens up more possibility for levels with multiple-workers; by all means, lemmings from the crowd could suddenly become more useful if a worker lem is off doing something else in another critical part of the level.

Furthermore, Icho's idea that the Resetter has
Quote
Possibility of permanent skill reset as well
would also distinguish it further from a teleporter, or simply another transport skill.

So in other words, maybe there're only 4-5 different angles the spear is ever at despite the trajectory itself being smooth parabola.  At various points in the trajectory, the spear's angle would abruptly go from one angle to the next.

Maybe the spear could be animated such that there are multiple angles, and so it appears more smooth. Upon landing, it can take a more fixed pre-determined angle, and if accompanied by a "poing" sound and a quivering of the spear in it's landing place, it would be fairly undetectable as having varied slightly from its trajectory in-flight.

Here's another idea just whilst we're riffing:

The Bowler - throws/rolls a large bowling ball which, upon contact with terrain, scatters pieces of terrain whilst leaving a hole the same shape as the bowling ball: essentially, a projectile skill that's both destructive and constructive. This is just a seedling idea at this point: in principle, this could be developed into something very usable.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #88 on: March 26, 2020, 12:13:46 pm »
Quote
I know, but there has been talk of bringing something completely new and different to the table, so... :P

Yes, new. Not unpredictable :P .

Quote
Actually (and this is the distinction I'd make with the Resetter), I think they should reset to the place where they landed, and not simply re-spawn from the hatch. That way, if terrain and stuff has changed around/beneath the entrance hatch, it could potentially start them off on a totally different route (after having picked up pickup skills that allow this, for instance).

I had read that part about landing, but thanks for pointing out the difference again! ;) While yes, this may result in a separation of the resetted lemming from the crowd occasionally, most of the time, the hatch is not placed at such high altitudes or in such immediate danger that a path needs to be constructed right away to make some lemmings land elsewhere than others.

Sure, if you have a hatch above an abyss and need a Glider to even get the level started, the Resetter would place the lemming at the point where the Glider landed. But such levels tend not to be too popular, because any type of level involving a deadly drop right out of the hatch usually has some arbitrary hassle of saving the crowd as fast as possible before the actual puzzle itself can begin. By all means, make crowd control and -containment part of the challenge, but doing so by using a deadly drop right out of the hatch is somewhat of a cheap way to go about it, I think ;) .

Quote
Furthermore, Icho's idea that the Resetter has

Quote
Possibility of permanent skill reset as well

would also distinguish it further from a teleporter, or simply another transport skill.

I thought we had agreed that permanent-skill removal is supposed to be accomplished by an object, not a skill? ;)

Sure, that thread was called "object or skill that removes permanent skills", but so far, discussion in that thread had progressed to a point where we had narrowed it down to an object, at least to my understanding. ;)
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Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #89 on: March 26, 2020, 02:02:17 pm »
While yes, this may result in a separation of the resetted lemming from the crowd occasionally, most of the time, the hatch is not placed at such high altitudes or in such immediate danger that a path needs to be constructed right away to make some lemmings land elsewhere than others.

You've kind of run away a little bit with what I'm saying here. It could be something as simple as having to build/platform beneath the entrance to take the crowd in a certain direction, thus building over the landing point. It doesn't necessarily have to be a fatal or even dangerous landing point for the idea to still apply.

I thought we had agreed that permanent-skill removal is supposed to be accomplished by an object, not a skill? ;)

I think the point is that the Resetter could perform that task merely as a bi-product of the lemming being reset to the starting point. Or not, whatever people decide. It's just a possibility at this point.

Offline Proxima

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #90 on: March 26, 2020, 02:56:31 pm »
Sure, if you have a hatch above an abyss and need a Glider to even get the level started, the Resetter would place the lemming at the point where the Glider landed. But such levels tend not to be too popular, because any type of level involving a deadly drop right out of the hatch usually has some arbitrary hassle of saving the crowd as fast as possible before the actual puzzle itself can begin. By all means, make crowd control and -containment part of the challenge, but doing so by using a deadly drop right out of the hatch is somewhat of a cheap way to go about it, I think ;) .

Really now? I don't remember any previous discussion suggesting that splat hatches are unpopular. The only time I remember someone complaining about them (in general as opposed to a specific level) was you, in the "Immediate turn-offs" thread, and both namida and I responded by defending this type of level (while admitting that some examples in the original games are bad).

"Poor Wee Creatures" is an excellent example of a splat hatch level done right: saving the crowd as fast as possible isn't "arbitrary hassle", it is (most of) the puzzle; you only get one floater so you are not kept busy assigning many floaters while he does his work. I get the impression it's generally regarded as one of the best Original Lemmings levels (for instance, in "Top 5, Bottom 5" it made three people's Top 5 lists).

Sometimes, you can get a similar-seeming puzzle by having the hatch drop lemmings onto terrain above a fatal drop ("Grounded" from LPI, for example), but this tends to be quite a different type of level because you can usually contain the lemmings while having a worker build a landing platform. I think we would lose something without the possibility of splat hatch levels -- this is why the floater just edged onto my "top 10 skills".

I should make a topic in Level Design to ask what people think about splat hatch levels :P

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #91 on: March 26, 2020, 09:01:03 pm »
I love a good splat hatch level! As long as there are plenty of builders and floaters. ;P :crylaugh:

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #92 on: March 27, 2020, 12:00:49 am »
Don't get me wrong, I made some splat-hatch levels myself, but then it's precisely as you guys said: Catching the crowd is already part of the solution. Poor Wee Creatures is the only level in original Lemmings where I agree this is useful; Bitter Lemming / With a twist of Lemming, please and Steel works, meanwhile, merely delay the actual puzzle with this start. As you will see in the thread Proxima linked to, namida indeed agreed with me that With a twist of Lemming, please is the worst offender in this regard.

Meaning, simply giving the player a bunch of Builders and Floaters is precisely NOT how it should be done :P - at least not in NeoLemmix, where you have much more elegant and less repetitive ways (e.g. send a Glider towards a wall and bomb him to make a dent, then send a second Glider / clone the first one twice to get another one into this direction, then have him build a single staircase or platform from there that serves as a splatform).

And I've seen similarly "useless" splat hatches on custom levels. There was one particular brick level at the end of the first rank of DoveLems ("Cisterns, Chains and Bricks"), where you just have to build a random staircase under the hatch to prevent everyone from splatting at the start. The actual puzzle however is getting a Climber up a wall on the left or right and then navigating downward cleverly through a maze. This is the actual puzzle part, and it has nothing to do with the splat hatch at the beginning. It's just unnecessary delay of a solution to an otherwise very interesting level. ;)
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Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #93 on: March 27, 2020, 12:24:12 am »
N.B. One of the mods might want to move this splat-hatch part of the thread to level design...?

Steel works, meanwhile, merely delay the actual puzzle with this start.

Steel Works is one of my favourite examples of a splat-hatch level. I'd probably assert that the opening section of this level is the actual puzzle, being followed as it is by an outright builder-fest. The fact that you only have 5 floaters to help you deal with 2 consecutive steel splat drops makes it particularly challenging, especially when played on an Amiga.

I'd also say that even the builder-fest that Steel Works presents is a worthy enough challenge of a Mayhem level - the narrow tunnel at the end is difficult to make your way up without the help of skill shadows and the like.

Of the other splat-hatch levels in the original game, I'd probably have to agree that Bitter Lemming and Twist of Lemming are a bit pointless and are more of a prelude to the level's actual puzzle. However, again - modern engines do take it somewhat out of context. Having to repeatedly assign floaters whilst being busy elsewhere was way more of a challenge on the platforms that Lemmings was originally released for. This is even more of a challenge, and perhaps more relevant, in the not-yet-mentioned Pillars of Hercules, which takes it to the next level by only providing enough floaters for a perfect solution.

Meaning, simply giving the player a bunch of Builders and Floaters is precisely NOT how it should be done :P

Haha! I know, I was being ironic ;P - I'm well aware of people's general disdain for splat-hatch/builder/floater parties.

Incidentally, Lemminas contains an affectionate remix of Twist of Lemming which makes the splat-hatch opening much more interesting and NeoLemmix-relevant (even if I say so myself ;P). I get to be proud of that level though, because all of the forum's best solvers agree it's a decent challenge. :thumbsup: To be fair, it's a level that happened purely by itself as a result of me playing the original using only the NeoLemmix skills.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #94 on: April 06, 2020, 11:46:08 am »
Just a quick question to revive this debate: If namida's plan is indeed to release this 20th and final skill with the next odd-number version of NeoLemmix after the 12.9 which introduces the Jumper, this would be version 12.11 in November, if my memory serves me right.

How soon would we have to decide on a skill to keep up with this very ambitious schedule? Considering that not only programming and sprite-crafting, but also extensive physics discussions would go along with that.

So far, it seems to me that all skills still in the race are Lemmings 2: The Tribes skills? Meaning Spear Thrower, Slider, Laser Blaster, Bazooker / Mortar, Runner.

As I said before, I would also support the Archer or Roper as a more versatile version of the Spear Thrower, but we would have to find a way to make those skills work without the double-assignments that namida has already ruled out.
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Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #95 on: April 06, 2020, 07:36:29 pm »
All I've stated is that 12.11 is the earliest this skill could happen. I haven't ruled out that it will be later.

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #96 on: April 06, 2020, 09:10:13 pm »
What about The Creator - a lemming that creates a temporary bit of terrain that has a countdown timer, and when that timer reaches zero the terrain either explodes, leaving a bomber-sized hole, or turns into another lemming.

Or The SuperSwimmer - a lemming that can swim in midair, and leaves a trail of terrain behind them.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #97 on: April 06, 2020, 10:30:40 pm »
Quote
What about The Creator - a lemming that creates a temporary bit of terrain that has a countdown timer, and when that timer reaches zero the terrain either explodes, leaving a bomber-sized hole, or turns into another lemming.

Do you seriously think this will fly with the people who voted for the removal of radiation and slowfreeze? :P (And the removal of timed bombers much earlier...)

Quote
Or The SuperSwimmer - a lemming that can swim in midair, and leaves a trail of terrain behind them.

Given that Swimmers move horizontally, what would be the difference to a Platformer? ;)
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Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #98 on: April 06, 2020, 10:57:30 pm »
Quote
Do you seriously think this will fly with the people who voted for the removal of radiation and slowfreeze? :P (And the removal of timed bombers much earlier...)

Actually, I can see why this might be considered acceptable even to people who didn't like radiation / slowfreeze / timed bombers - the terrain isn't permanent, but it still gets created exactly where you assign the skill. You don't have to mess around with "where do I start the assignment, so that the lemming will be in the right place when it ends?", which was the biggest argument against all of those. I'm not particularly keen on this idea, but I wouldn't immediately dismiss it as "not a good fit" in the same way timed bombers / etc are.

The SuperSwimmer, on the other hand, is as Strato says - essentially just an alternate-animation platformer (or builder, if they move upwards too), and thus not going to happen.

Offline Proxima

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #99 on: April 06, 2020, 11:34:44 pm »
The Creator reminds me a little bit of one of the skills from The Light of Horderland, a Lemmings-like game I designed on paper (and it never got further than that). The skill in question, the Dynamiter, placed a stick of dynamite at its current location, which would explode five seconds later.

I don't think it's a terrible idea, but mostly it's just a non-fatal bomber that can't be used while falling, and the time delay doesn't seem to add enough to make it worth considering. A similar effect (destroying terrain while the worker is elsewhere) can also be achieved with the Bazooker/Mortar, and those skills are more versatile, so they are strictly superior in my opinion.

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #100 on: April 07, 2020, 12:21:22 am »
What makes The Creator (as an idea) different from the Bomber is that it creates terrain for 5 seconds: this could be used for getting lemmings down from a height as well, or even as a temporary blocker which then destroys the surrounding terrain.

I suppose you could just assign a blocker and then bomb them, but then that costs a lemming.

It's just an idea at the moment, really I'm riffing on the thought: what could be both constructive and destructive? Or, in the case of the SuperSwimmer idea, what could be both a movement skill and a construction skill?

I also like the thought that there's still something new, and useful, that didn't even exist in Lemmings 2...

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #101 on: April 07, 2020, 08:34:55 am »
Given that WillLem already suggested the terrain explodes and leaves behind a Bomber-like crater, Proxima's name "Dynamiter" seems much more fitting than "Creator", indeed! :thumbsup:

That said, I agree that it would be another case of "non-fatal alternative to a fatal skill", which is something namida ruled out in the starting post (probably in reference to the Lightsaberer, but in my book, this is still just the same idea in new clothing).

Quote
I also like the thought that there's still something new, and useful, that didn't even exist in Lemmings 2...

Yes, probably, but unless it's something like upward Digging or downward Building, i.e. a variation of something you can already do in NeoLemmix (even though you technically can't do either of those in L2, since both the Twister and Laser Blaster act differently than an actual upward Digger, and the Roper is very limited in its range, even though it can also go downward), I see the danger here of people coming up with random stuff that doesn't fit in organically with any of the skills we have so far - just for the sake of having something "new and different".

Ironically, L2 is a good demonstration of what happens when people come up with new skills for the sake of it. At the same time, in doing so, L2 is pretty likely to already have tested most of the new ground that can be discovered in a game like Lemmings.



The L2 skills that are still in the race at this point are all connected to existing mechanics in some way, while still offering something new:

- the Slider is reminiscent of the Floater in its main application, but also has similarities to the Climber in other regards, and interacts extremely well with Jumpers and Shimmiers, by extension also with Bombers and Stoners

- the Bazooker / Mortar creates a crater like a Bomber, just at a distance

- the Spear Thrower is somewhere in between Builder, Platformer, and Stoner, but again at a distance

- the Runner is in between a Walker and a Jumper (and therefore has the least new options to offer, I think)


To illustrate this latter point, I have attached the level "Besser du rennst" (=You better run!) from my in-development, L2-inspired pack Lemmings Hall of Fame (and the replay showing the intended solution). This is a typical application of the Runner as it is being used in Lemmings 2: The Tribes - and the attached level is meant to show that this can be accomplished in a perfectly fine way by just using the Jumper on its own (which you usually need on the skill panel to interact with Runners anyway).


Solution (click to show/hide)

Granted, as we've established for the other skills, L2 may not have used the Runner to its full potential. But in contrast to the Laser Blaster, Slider, Bazooker / Mortar, and Spear Thrower, we actually have custom-level user data for the Runner, due to its presence in Lix.

People have pointed out how it can be useful in Multiplayer levels, but in single-player games like L2 or NeoLemmix, a level like the attached on is usually the main application of the Runner.


Maybe this is enough of a justification to drop the Runner from the list, and continue narrowing it down? ;)

I do want to open a separate thread for the discussion of possible physics of a (Spear) Thrower skill, though. I think this should be done separately from a discussion about a destructive range skill, like the Mortar / Bazooker, because for the time being, we need to assume we're only going to get either of the two (range construction OR range destruction).
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Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #102 on: April 07, 2020, 07:30:43 pm »
Some updates to the consideration list:

- I've moved both kinds of projectile skills to the "strong contenders" list
- I've noted the Rocketer (suggested by Crane in another topic) and the Creator (with the caveat it would need a better name) as a "willing to consider" - I will note that neither seemed very popular so they're not likely to happen, though
- I've moved Runner to "ruled out", the more I think about it / read discussion about it the more I'm convinced that, even if it has "coolness" appeal, I don't believe it has enough puzzle potential (outside of finnicky execution levels) to really compete with most of the other ideas being raised

I will also reiterate (or state for the first time - I'm not sure if I actually posted this, or just thought it) that I may be willing to consider multiple skills if there's considerable overlap in their implementation, while also not having too much overlap in functionality. A projectile constructive skill + a projectile destructive skill that share the same arc, and just have different visuals + different effects on impact, is a perfect example of such. I'd still need to be convinced both are worthwhile though - this is only leniency for the "implementation difficulty" side of the decision, not the whole decision.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #103 on: April 07, 2020, 10:57:34 pm »
Ah, so the Laser Blaster explicitly doesn't count as "projectile destruction", only as "range destruction", I guess? ;) That would make sense.

I'm having a bit of a hard time seing how the Mortar (shooting diagonally upwards) would be more useful than the Laser Blaster, given that it still only creates a tiny crater, compared to the long tunnel the Laser Blaster can create.

I guess you can shoot a dent into a wall so that a Climber can climb into it, rather than having to waste a second Climber to bomb that dent into the wall... but the difference between the two seems very minor: If you need to get a lemming to that position anyway (=the Climber who climbs into the Bomber / Mortar hole), then the range of the skill doesn't really give you any advantage. It's only a difference between getting one vs. two Climbers up the same wall.

The Bazooker with his straight horizontal trajectory seems a lot easier to navigate. Since we don't have tumbler physics, it could also be used at close distance without that annoying knockback - which would basically give us the Flame Thrower / WillLem's Lightsaberer in the same breath (=producing a non-lethal, Bomber-size crater right in front of the Lemming).

Then again, if we think of the Bazooker as similar to Flame Thrower and Lightsaberer, neither of those two skills would have added anything new. ;)

The range of course is the new part, but given the type of destruction Mortar and Bazooker create (=a Bomber crater), they still seem a bit like yet another "non-lethal version of a lethal skill we already have".

The most curious use I can imagine would be to free a Blocker at a distance, by shooting away the ground beneath his feet. Meaning, there would be a Bomber crater under the Blocker without the Blocker actually dying! :D

But unfortunately, most of the time, this would require the projectile to fly downwards (i.e. pass through the Blocker himself and then hit the ground beneath him).
So it could probably only be achieved with the parabolic curve of the Mortar's projectile. And using this upwards-shooting skill to make holes in the ground is precisely what you have to do on that L2 Beach level ("Sand Blaster") that kind of spoilt both the Bazooker and the Mortar for me... :evil:
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Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #104 on: April 08, 2020, 09:15:36 am »
Alright, let's try and get rid of some of the "willing to consider" ones. I've put a poll up with most of these options (the exceptions are those that, at this stage, are too general to really treat as a single idea to vote for or against, at least in the context of pitting against other suggestions directly), 3 votes allowed per user. How many are kept under consideration vs ruled out is not something I'm deciding in advance, it will depend how the results fall as well as perhaps some further thought about my own views on the skills.

When voting, please think more about the general idea than the exact details / visuals / names proposed so far. For example, if you like the idea of what the Creator does, but think "it should have a different name and the terrain should last longer than the current proposal", vote for it, because those kind of finer details will likely be gone over very intensively before the skill even makes it to a final vote-off, let alone gets implemented.

Note that Slider and the projectile skills are already under "strong contenders" so aren't part of this poll.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #105 on: April 08, 2020, 09:27:02 am »
Shouldn't the Rocketer and Tunneler go together then, because they are also very similar? If the Rocketer is able to remove terrain, what's the difference to the Tunneler?
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Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #106 on: April 08, 2020, 10:04:11 am »
Shouldn't the Rocketer and Tunneler go together then, because they are also very similar? If the Rocketer is able to remove terrain, what's the difference to the Tunneler?

Rocketer removing terrain could go either way. The main thing would be that it sends a lemming upwards, and doesn't need terrain. Tunneller, on the other hand, is specifically a destructive skill - just one with a very steep slope. (That too is another difference - straight up vs slight angle.) I did actually think about combining them when making the poll, but ultimately decided against it.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #107 on: April 08, 2020, 10:07:01 am »
Okay, if the Tunneler has a slight angle, I'm not so sure about it - it would basically be a steeper Fencer at this point (especially if that 6:1 relationship means that regular Walkers can still ascend through it). I know I'm the one who proposed this, but the fact that a tunnel is only usable for Climbers / doesn't have automatic splat-prevention built-in on the way down - i.e. like a Digger shaft - can indeed make a difference. The tunnels created by both the Laser Blaster and the Rocketer would be identical to that of a Digger, I assume?

Sure, the Tunneler at a steep angle would be generally more useful - but precisely that would make it much less different from the already existing Fencer skill.

I'm definitely voting for the Laser Blaster, but I'm not sure whether I should go with Rocketer vs. Tunneler... ???
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Offline Proxima

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #108 on: April 08, 2020, 12:56:58 pm »
I think at this stage it doesn't matter. If we end up with an upward destructive skill still being under consideration, then we could still decide on the Rocketer as the implementation of it. Equally, we could still decide on a straight-upward Tunneller rather than a steep-angled one.

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #109 on: April 08, 2020, 03:46:04 pm »
Better name for the Creator: The Exploding-Terrain-Maker!

No, that's also terrible...

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #110 on: April 10, 2020, 02:31:44 pm »
Currently it looks like we're back to the "downward Builder vs. upward Digger" discussion! :thumbsup: (If you consider the Laser Blaster a ranged form of an upward Digger.)

Of course, this doesn't mean that the final skill is going to be either of those, but unless more votes come in, it seems to me like a downward Builder and the two alternatives for upward Digging (Laser Blaster and Tunneler) will be the last ones to enter the "under consideration" list. ;)
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Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #111 on: April 10, 2020, 07:19:15 pm »
Don't forget that projectiles and Slider are already under "strong contenders".

Anyway, based on poll results so far, the following skills are eliminated from consideration:
- Creator
- Resetter
- Rocketer
- Shielder
- Tank

And since it has the most votes, I'm moving Laser-Blaster to "strong contender". The remainder will stay as "willing to consider" for now.



I've put up a new poll to gauge interest in the general idea of a "zombie killing skill". (Since this idea was very generic compared to the others, I didn't feel it was fair to lump it in with the others in the first poll.)
« Last Edit: April 10, 2020, 07:25:42 pm by namida »

Online IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #112 on: April 10, 2020, 08:21:07 pm »
The problem with the zombie killing skill is the following:

It's a skill that can be useful, if a level has zombies in it.

Only a small fraction of levels are zombie levels and in only a fraction of that it is useful.

That's not enough.

Offline DireKrow

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #113 on: April 10, 2020, 08:55:43 pm »
I echo Icho. It's a niche addition to an already niche feature. I'd be open to it as an extra effect of another skill, but if it kills zombies, it should probably kill all lemmings, and... a skill that kills other lemmings in the vicinity sounds potentially un-fun.
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Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #114 on: April 10, 2020, 11:32:56 pm »
The problem with the zombie killing skill is the following:

It's a skill that can be useful, if a level has zombies in it.

Only a small fraction of levels are zombie levels and in only a fraction of that it is useful.

That's not enough.

The possibilities here are:
a) Zombie killing is one of several effects
b) It kills all lemmings, just including zombies
c) Considering whether this might make zombie levels more viable for some creators

Indeed, the laser blaster could work well for either A or B - I could definitely see some puzzle potential coming out of both "use it to kill zombies" and "you must avoid it killing regular lemmings".

Offline GigaLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #115 on: April 11, 2020, 01:56:22 am »
The problem with the zombie killing skill is the following:

It's a skill that can be useful, if a level has zombies in it.

Only a small fraction of levels are zombie levels and in only a fraction of that it is useful.

That's not enough.

The possibilities here are:
a) Zombie killing is one of several effects
b) It kills all lemmings, just including zombies
c) Considering whether this might make zombie levels more viable for some creators

Indeed, the laser blaster could work well for either A or B - I could definitely see some puzzle potential coming out of both "use it to kill zombies" and "you must avoid it killing regular lemmings".

If the gunner had to double as destructive skill, it can probably serve as a more potent flamethrower, or better, A bazooka with killing power.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #116 on: April 11, 2020, 08:08:50 am »
It would make sense for any/all of the ranged skills to have this as additional behaviour:

- Laser Blaster: fries the Zombie from below (can even kill Zombie Fallers!), i.e. the Zombie dies in the same animation as if he walked into fire
- Bazooker / Mortar: projectile hits Zombie, or Zombie is in the area of the explosion that creates the crater (explosion star like for a Bomber, then the Zombie is gone)
- Spear Thrower: impales the Zombie, causing him to splat. Passing through the Zombie should affect the spear's further trajectory (like when it flies through a Ballooner's balloon in Lemmings 2)
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Online IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #117 on: April 11, 2020, 09:11:20 am »
Quote
It would make sense for any/all of the ranged skills to have this as additional behaviour:

- Laser Blaster: fries the Zombie from below (can even kill Zombie Fallers!), i.e. the Zombie dies in the same animation as if he walked into fire
- Bazooker / Mortar: projectile hits Zombie, or Zombie is in the area of the explosion that creates the crater (explosion star like for a Bomber, then the Zombie is gone)
- Spear Thrower: impales the Zombie, causing him to splat. Passing through the Zombie should affect the spear's further trajectory (like when it flies through a Ballooner's balloon in Lemmings 2)

1.) If these would kill zombies, they should kill lemmings as well otherwise they would not make much sense. Especially in the laser blasters case this could reduce the use cases.

2.) Then why, for example, doesn't the bomber kill lemmings within an aoe? It just inconsistent and not logical if one can and the other not.

This just feels like a gimmick slapped onto something, creating unlogical special cases.

Offline kieranmillar

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #118 on: April 11, 2020, 10:46:20 am »
For anybody wondering about how some of the skills left for debate can be used in practice, I really really recommend my pack for Lemmings 2, Quest From Kieran 2. I'm not saying this to self-promote, a lot of the groundwork in figuring out whether these skills are any good and the ways you can utilize them has already been done. Now of course, this considers the skills in the context of Lemmings 2, and the particular ways they are implemented in Lemmings 2, but the official level packs do not use any of the skills well at all and only by looking at someone else's attempt to use them in interesting ways do I think you can properly assess how good they are for Neolemmix.

Now if I am allowed to make the bold and self-congratulating claim of calling myself Lemmings 2's top level creator, let me give my thoughts on how well I think these skills will translate themselves in the context of Neolemmix:

  • The Slider - When looking at the extra skills added to Neolemmix, I think two skills stand out above the rest in terms of how well they fit into the original design of Lemmings and all of Neolemmix's other additions: The Platformer, and the Glider. The Glider is particularly flexible in Neolemmix with the addition of the updrafts, it has a lot of utility. Ichotolot argues very successfully in my mind at how Neolemmix can mostly replace what the Slider provides, and I have to agree completely. In Lemmings 2, the Slider is useful and a lot of fun because Lemmings 2 provides a lot of mobility skills that give gigantic amounts of freedom because they let your lemming quite literally fly wherever they want, and the Slider is a breath of fresh air in that it provides restrictions that are heavily dependent on the terrain. But in Neolemmix, the glider is already adequate at providing similar restrictions. So for that reason I'm going to have to vote NO to the Slider in Neolemmix. If you want to have fun with the Slider, I highly recommend having a go at making levels for Lemmings 2 instead.
  • The Laser Blaster - The Laser Blaster is a skill that asks you to specifically hunt down reasons to make it useful. It is very poor at providing general purpose utility. In QFK2 the Circus Tribe tries very very hard to come up with ways to make the Laser Blaster good according to the specific properties it provides, and it actually struggles. Vertical shafts are hard to use in interesting ways, and this is especially true for ones that also have no floor. Yes, there are some specific use cases you can come up with, but they are so specific as to not be worth the addition, so I'm going to have to vote NO on this one.
  • The Spearer / Thrower / Archer / Some Ranged Projectile Constructive Skill - I think you will be disappointed with adding a skill like this to Neolemmix. I found in Lemmings 2 that even with all of the flexibility provided by some skills, that it is tough to use these in a way that isn't just setting up a splatform at a distance. Now Lemmings 2 does have some skills that can combine with these in ways that make them a bit more interesting, most notably the Glue Pourer, another type of ranged construction skill that loves that the Spearer creates a flat 1-pixel width ledge, but the reality is that using these skills to good effect outside of splatforms can be fairly contrived. Like the Laser Blaster, it feels like a skill where you're trying hard to find reasons to make it useful. And it also tries to encourage you to make setups where you have to attach rocks / spears / arrows onto other rocks / spears / arrows and let me tell you, the execution on this is horrible and not fun at all. The fact that these skills let you setup a reason to get one lemming to another area so that it can manipulate the crowd's path from a distance is nice to have from a design perspective, admittedly. My vote on this skill is Meh, we can do better.
  • The Bazooka / Mortar / Some Ranged Projectile Destructive Skill - These skills immediately throw a design problem at you, how do you stop them from being used at point-blank where it's just replicating a bomber? In Lemmings 2, nearby lemmings get thrown around, and I utilised this in some of my levels for a number of reasons, including as a trap (they get turned around or flung into water) so that you are forced to use them from a distance. Of course it also allows setups to use it point blank range, like that official Lemmings 2 beach level where you bazooka through a sandcastle at point-blank and it's super annoying and tedious, but the official levels are not a good place to look for examples. Flinging of course is not going to happen in Neolemmix, and I don't recommend adding flinging physics. This skill also covers the nice design use of manipulating the crowd's path from a distance. I think a destructive distance skill is actually more useful than a constructive one, it's easier to think up more general purpose use cases, especially if it follows an arc more like the Mortar than the Bazooka, so that ceilings and floors can be destroyed more easily. In Lemmings 2, I found that the Mortar was quite a fun skill to use in my opinion, as long as you are not just trying to blast through a wall point-blank. Creating holes in all sorts of places turned out to have a range of ways you could take advantage of that. But you need to fix the point-blank problem. I recommend the following: a Neolemmix Mortar will be deadly, with the explosion also having a kill zone that extends beyond the terrain destruction, so a lemming trying to use it to blast through a wall at point-blank gets killed. This makes it possible to disallow that use case if you wish through save requirements. Also it adds some use restrictions via caring about where other lemmings are and not wanting to fire it into a crowd, which in and of itself can add extra puzzle potential, generally any skill being able to be affected by the presence of other lemmings is a good property for a skill to have to make it more interesting. I guess you can use it to kill zombies too if you care about that (I think in practice that is not so useful, but hey, you get that as an added bonus here). It also covers some of the use cases that the Laser Blaster would, while providing additional flexibility by being way more general purpose. So if it wasn't already obvious, my vote goes here, provided you solve the point-blank problem, and I think making it deadly is the best way to do this.

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #119 on: April 11, 2020, 11:26:25 am »
Well, it looks like the most votes are going to "okay as a side effect", with second place being "I don't mind the idea but I think there's better usages".

So - let's not specifically worry about zombie killing, but if a skill gets selected that could logically have that as an effect... well, perhaps it does. I'm guessing most cases would simply be "kills all lemmings within range", though.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #120 on: April 11, 2020, 11:31:34 am »
We talked a bit in discord and in the special case of the mortar it could be argued that it is still an active weapon compared to an exploder. So it's not that unlogical for it to have a lemming killing side effect and I would be ok with that.

Making the mortar crater different and maybe a big bigger compared to a bomber could also help to distinguish it further. Maybe also rounder so it is shimmier friendly when firing it at a ceiling.

Offline Proxima

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #121 on: April 11, 2020, 01:35:40 pm »
Taking a cue from the Worms games, the animation for the crater creation could involve flames lingering in the area for half a second or so. (Incidentally, I believe I might have had a role in adding napalm to Worms; when I was younger, my friends and I wrote to Team 17 with a list of weapon suggestions, including a weapon we described as nuclear, with a similar lingering effect; this may have been reskinned as napalm.)

I would not make the crater shimmier-friendly, because firing into a ceiling to disrupt a shimmier is one of the interesting use cases.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #122 on: April 11, 2020, 06:28:01 pm »
kieran has outlined his preference for the Mortar very clearly and concisely, I believe; it was easy to follow your logic! :thumbsup:

This sparked my interest in looking at your personal top list for Lemmings 2 skills again: "My thoughts on the Lemmings 2 skills"

Interestingly, from the top down, the first skill after those we already have (those being Miner, Builder, Shimmier, Fencer) is the Rock Climber.

I still like the idea of lemmings climbing around 90° corners (transitioning from Shimmiers back into a Climber), and I don't think it would be necessarily harmful to allow both the Shimmier and the Rock Climber to climb up sloped ceilings, since they would be looking in opposite directions, which can be crucial (note that the L2 Shimmier can only go up and down sloped ceilings half as steep as the ones in NeoLemmix, i.e. two pixels in width for every 1 pixel in height).

But if we stick to the previous consensus that the Rock Climber would be too similar to the Climber in NeoLemmix, the next in line on your list was the Glue Pourer.

Aside from distance-effect skills (both constructive and destructive), these "filler-type" skills were probably one of the most iconic sets of skills for me when I first started playing Lemmings 2. namida initially suggested the Sand Pourer here, which was quickly ruled out, but it seemed like the oddest choice of them all to me. The Filler is arguably even weaker, and the Glue Pourer would clearly be most powerful.

The instinctive response would probably be to reject the Glue Pourer on the grounds of it being too similar to the Platformer. Personally, I've always preferred the Glue Pourer to the Platformer in Lemmings 2 - but then again, L2 Platformers gain height, while the Glue Pourer barely does.

In NeoLemmix, where Platformers never gain height, the Glue Pourer would still have the following differences:

- display standard "Filler" behaviour whenever the glue doesn't land on protruding platforms, because then, it doesn't shape into a bridge, but simply fills the gap like a liquid, slowly rising from the bottom to the top
- the pouring lemming remains where he is, rather than moving with the glue right away; so in that sense, I agree with kieran that it could still be regarded as a constructive skill at a distance
- increased speed compared to the Platformer. I was actually surprised to find out on one of kieran's L2 levels that I didn't have to contain the crowd while building a bridge with the Glue Pourer, because the Glue was moving fast enough to keep up with regular Walkers, even a little faster. This would never be possible with the Platformer. Thus, the Glue Pourer would allow for more interesting flow-control puzzles, and also allow teaching flow-control puzzles to beginners more easily - because the crowd isn't in such dire need to be contained.

So I personally would be fine with the Glue Pourer! :thumbsup: It would probably be a Stacker vs. Stoner situation, in that Glue Pourer and Platformer are often similar, but different enough in the detail.

For example, while designing my L2-style levels in NeoLemmix, I always wanted to replicate that typical "cover up trap triggers with Platformers" experience, which never works in NeoLemmix,
a) because the trigger areas are higher than in L2, but also
b) because you can't assign Platformers on flat terrain. Thus, you have to artificially increase the altitude around the traps, making it blatantly obvious that you have to platform there, rather than doing anything else. This can also create "pits" around the traps when you don't actually want them to be there, but just regular traps that lemmings can walk through.

Glue Pourers would be interesting ways to deal with traps without resorting to the standard old "build over it" cliché.
They can even handle traps in narrow corridors, i.e. where you can't actually build, jump, or shimmy over them or go beneath them with destructive skills.
They would also provide more opportunities for flow control when it comes to creating bridges, and could handle small gaps efficiently, so that the player no longer needs to waste a bunch of Builders or Platformers on those (especially since the latter will always cause him to turn around after sealing such small gaps), or filling all these single gaps by dropping Stoners into them (waste of time AND lemmings).



However, if the Rock Climber is too similar to the Climber, and the Glue Pourer too similar to the Platformer, both of which seems justified to say - then the next skill in line on your list would also be the Slider. ;)


So let me address your primary criticism against including it in NeoLemmix:

Quote
in Neolemmix, the glider is already adequate at providing similar restrictions.

As I'm currently trying to create an L2-style pack within NeoLemmix (Lemmings Hall of Fame), I have tried various tricks to "simulate" existing L2 skills with NeoLemmix skills.


The Glider has become a stand-in for "flyer" skills in combination with updrafts (Ballooner / Parachute / Jet Pack / Icarus Wings / SuperLem / Magic Carpet). The most similar one would probably be the Hang Glider.

The Slider however is not among the skills I would consider similar to the Glider at all! ;) In fact, I tried emulating a Slider with a Glider in the attached level by using one-way fields, and it didn't work: The one-way field will trap the Glider between the wall and its trigger area, not allowing him to move at all (not even down). Instead, I had to use a Floater. (Replay is attached.)

You can try this out for yourself by simply replacing the Floater with a Glider in the attached level. ;) (Requires the experimental build of NeoLemmix that includes the Jumper.)


Counting stars. The one-way arrows on the right are where the Floater is forced into Slider-like behaviour.
Keep in mind that this typical "turning-around" behaviour is enforced by the environment here, i.e. the one-way field. This is a core challenge and also potential of the Slider that the Floater can't emulate. The Floater also can't transition to a Shimmier, and he requires a piece of protruding terrain (above the pipes on the right) to land on. Sliders, in contrast, can drop from an upper platform into a lower tunnel even when their edges are perfectly alligned.

Thus, while I do think comparisons with the Floater are fair when it comes to the Slider, the Glider seems hardly an appropriate comparison:

- They start off looking in different directions: The Glider begins his drops looking forward, the Slider flips around. As established, the question of turning lemmings around just the right number of times is a common trademark of many of the most challenging levels that exist.
- The Glider can sometimes be steered into the same tunnel as a Slider could, yes; but it requires an additional obstacle on the other side of where he falls, and that obstacle needs to be at the exact right height. The Slider, in contrast, needs solid terrain on the same side where he drops.
- The Glider cannot transition into a Shimmier, not even into a Climber that would then allow him to transition into a Shimmier afterwards; he will simply bounce off any wall he touches.
- The Slider needs a straight wall in order to secure safe drops. The Glider doesn't have any such restrictions at all; it's usually more powerful than a Floater, not more restricted. (And the restrictions of the Slider compared to the regular Floater are what make him interesting, so having an even more busted version in the Glider that can fly and travel far distances across lethal gaps goes in the opposite direction.)

Let me praise the Slider in your own words again:
Quote from: kieranmillar
7) Slider - Now here's a skill that's way cooler than the floater. It's heavily terrain-based and genuinely useful, and best of all it is absolutely hilarious in how it messes with the lemming's direction constantly, and often that can end up as a puzzle entirely by itself. The way it combos with the shimmier is just awesome, giving it quite a lot of flexibility. There's all sorts of stuff you can do with this skill and I think it deserves a lot more attention. I wish I'd used it more often.

The Mortar, in contrast, was all the way down on 17th place in your L2-list, behind the Ballooner, Attractor, Magic Carpet, and even behind the already-ruled-out Runner.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2020, 10:49:41 pm by Strato Incendus »
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Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #123 on: April 11, 2020, 08:14:17 pm »
Rock-Climber and Glue Pourer have both been ruled out - the former due to similarity to the climber, the latter due to implementation difficulty (though similarity to the platformer is a very valid concern too). No point discussing those. Likewise, Slider is already one of the leading candidates, without any particularly strong arguments against it, so it doesn't really need further defending at this point - though it indeed might when it comes down to "time to decide which of the leading candidates actually becomes the one".

Quote
n fact, I tried emulating a Slider with a Glider in the attached level by using one-way fields, and it didn't work: The one-way field will trap the Glider between the wall and its trigger area, now allowing him to move at all (not even down). Instead, I had to use a Floater. (Replay is attached.)

This is a known bug that I hope to fix for V12.9.X.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2020, 08:21:05 pm by namida »

Online IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #124 on: April 11, 2020, 08:32:08 pm »
Let me show you this specific level I built myself for the case where the slider would be needed is not a very good argument for it. For every skill you can build a level requiring it.

Also just move the force field to the right so the glider bounces off 1 time and then lands inside your gap in the wall -- fixed with emulated slider.

Quote
Thus, while I do think comparisons with the Floater are fair when it comes to the Slider, the Glider seems hardly an appropriate comparison:

And the comparisons you listed here can be emulated with other skills which I already have shown in older posts inside this topic. I don't want to repeat myself anymore.

Even from a balance perspective: This is the last skill we will add to NL and we already have by far the most movement skills, I think adding a different type of skill is the way to go. I even would rather put the laster blaster in it than the slider to be honest.

Offline GigaLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #125 on: April 11, 2020, 10:00:58 pm »
And the comparisons you listed here can be emulated with other skills which I already have shown in older posts inside this topic. I don't want to repeat myself anymore.

Even from a balance perspective: This is the last skill we will add to NL and we already have by far the most movement skills, I think adding a different type of skill is the way to go. I even would rather put the laster blaster in it than the slider to be honest.

IIRC, Ichotolot explained so many times in this topic (and others like it) about being against the slider.

I'm against the slide too, in fact, i'm very against the inclusion of the slider, I have no desire to make puzzles using the slider when I could use a floater, Why should I use a slider over a floater or glider, I don't want to use something that is way too situational or redundant for a 20th skill. I'm more in favor in the Laser Blaster or even the tunneler because I rather have something more useful and unique. I agree that we have enough movement options in the first place, why do we need something that a floater can do better?

I want something like the Laser Blaster or Tunneler because I want an upwards destructive, and If not those then a downwards constructive skill like a ramper or something.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #126 on: April 11, 2020, 11:11:52 pm »
Quote
This is a known bug that I hope to fix for V12.9.X.

Ah, good to know, thanks for the info! ;)

Quote
Let me show you this specific level I built myself for the case where the slider would be needed is not a very good argument for it. For every skill you can build a level requiring it.

That was not what me posting the level was about, I thought that was clear ;) - this was just to show to what extent a Slider can be emulated with the current skills, and to what extent it can't.

The general principle that the Slider can fall onto a platform under his own with perfectly alligned edges (without any surrounding walls or similar that "bounce" him onto the lower platform, like with the Glider) applies to many levels. Protruding terrain pieces on the respective lower platform, as they would be needed now, can often make things too easy - since those allow regular Fallers to land on the lower platform as well. And as we know from "Save me", even tiny pieces of protruding terrain can already be enough to assign Builders / Blockers / anything else that makes getting down on the platform easier for everyone.

Quote
I agree that we have enough movement options in the first place,

I don't see the Slider as "yet another movement skill" after Jumper and Shimmier; I see it as another permanent skill, of which we haven't had any new ones since the Disarmer.

Quote
why do we need something that a floater can do better?

I've just played some Quest from Kieran 2. Give it a try as well - and you will probably quickly let go of the idea that surviving splat-height drops were the main purpose of the Slider. ;) QFK2 uses it for a bunch of drops where there isn't even anything close to splat height, and those are infinitely more interesting:

Can a Floater turn a lemming around? Transition into a Shimmier? Can a Floater turn a lemming around repeatedly, so that the lemming prevents himself from walking off into a deadly hazard?

There is a Medieval level in QFK2 on which...

Invasion of Normandy (click to show/hide)

Just like IchoTolot pointed out the Slider's shortcomings countless times and doesn't want to repeat himself, I have emphasized countless times how the Slider is not just a weaker Floater - it is more situational when it comes to that single application, but it is much more versatile than the Floater across situations. The Floater is pretty much a single-purpose skill; the Slider absolutely is not! ;)


Quote
Slider is already one of the leading candidates, without any particularly strong arguments against it, so it doesn't really need further defending at this point

Yes, but in recent days / weeks I have mainly been hearing Slider-critical voices, while the Slider fans are, as far as I can tell, still around, but comparatively silent. ;) I don't want the Slider-negative perspective to slowly creep into the collective unconscious simply because it's the only one that keeps getting uttered.

That said, since some people proclaim they expect they would have trouble designing good puzzles for the Slider - and I in turn would have trouble creating clever new solutions with the Mortar or Spear Thrower - that might explain why the Laser Blaster was so popular in the recent poll. :D It might just turn out to be the lowest common denominator in the end...

If everyone is indeed rather willing to accept the Laser Blaster than "the other side's skill", everyone's second favourite can be the one to win the overall "competition", after all. :D
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Offline Simon

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #127 on: April 12, 2020, 12:01:36 am »
Quote from: Strato Incendus link=topic=4686.msg81347#msg81347
I don't see the Slider as "yet another movement skill"

It's yet another movement skill, even when you choose not to focus on that.

Lemmings is about indirect control. Alter the terrain to shape the path, or you become a blocker to shape other lemmings' paths. The lemming does things that affect other lemmings.

Quote
I see it as another permanent skill, of which we haven't had any new ones since the Disarmer.

With good reason.

Permanents introduce state that is hard to see, and come with lots of special interaction rules. Have too many permanents, they'll get in each other's scope, and thus the need for rules grows quadratically.

And permanents have a higher chance to turn out the weakest in hindsight. The floater is the weakest skill in Lemmings 1. Runner and floater are the two weakest skills in Lix. The disarmer is the weakest skill in NL.

Quote
why do we need something that a floater can do better?

The slider would indeed be better if floater or glider didn't exist.

Quote
quickly let go of the idea that surviving splat-height drops were the main purpose of the Slider.

Yes, the slider lands on the ledge below, facing backwards.

The slider overrides normal rules at some future time: The next/every time the lem would fall, the lem slides instead. This breaks mental pathfinding. The skill must bring a ton of design goodness to overcome this massive burden.

The climber overrides turning in the same way. But the climber is so ingenious that it's still worthwhile despite this massive mental breakage. There is nothing like the climber in the game that comes even close.

Quote
If everyone is indeed rather willing to accept the Laser Blaster

The L2 upwards laser blaster is weak. Anything interesting with the upwards blaster would get too fiddly.

Instead, combine the Laser Blaster with the desire for the tunneler. Have the Laser Blaster shoot forward at a steep angle:



In front of a wall, it's a tunneler.

It is ranged in that it can shoot over chasms.

It is still mostly vertical in spirit.

-- Simon
« Last Edit: April 12, 2020, 12:10:09 am by Simon »

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #128 on: April 12, 2020, 12:06:24 am »
^ Oooh, I very much like this diagonal laser blaster idea.

Online IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #129 on: April 12, 2020, 12:08:59 am »
Quote
The L2 upwards laser blaster is weak. Anything interesting with the upwards blaster would get too fiddly.

Instead, combine the Laser Blaster with the desire for the tunneler. Have the Laser Blaster shoot forward at a steep angle:

That would indeed be a much better version! :thumbsup:

Even from my perspective this has potential to compete with the projectile skills.

Offline DireKrow

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #130 on: April 12, 2020, 12:15:52 am »
It doesn't make the fencer too redundant? I wasn't a fan of the tunneler for that reason. Two skills that dig diagonally up.

Because it feels like "why use the fencer when the laser blaster does the same thing except way better" except in the specific situation where a shallow angle is absolutely required
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Offline Proxima

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #131 on: April 12, 2020, 12:22:53 am »
Would it be mean to point out that the angle under a 2:1 slope is actually arctan(2) = 63.435 degrees? :P

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #132 on: April 12, 2020, 12:26:41 am »
Can we agree that no skill should result in the deaths of non-zombie lemmings...? It doesn't strike me as much of a "skill" if it's indiscriminatorily lethal - even bombers don't kill other lemmings.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #133 on: April 12, 2020, 12:27:54 am »
Quote
angle under a 2:1 slope is actually arctan(2) = 63.435 degrees?

<_<

Yes, fixed. Thanks!

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It doesn't make the fencer too redundant?

Yes, this is a worry.

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Offline Proxima

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #134 on: April 12, 2020, 12:28:34 am »
Can we agree that no skill should result in the deaths of non-zombie lemmings...? It doesn't strike me as much of a "skill" if it's indiscriminatorily lethal - even bombers don't kill other lemmings.

No. Lethality can be an interesting balancing drawback to a skill that would otherwise be too powerful -- obvious case in point being the Stoner.

The Mortar also seems to be a much more interesting skill with lethality than without. L2 gives it the drawback of flinging the lemmings, but we can't have that in NL.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #135 on: April 12, 2020, 12:31:08 am »
Quote
Can we agree that no skill should result in the deaths of non-zombie lemmings...? It doesn't strike me as much of a "skill" if it's indiscriminatorily lethal - even bombers don't kill other lemmings.

Either everything dies or nothing dies. I will strongly object any special case variant. It just adds more extra rules players have to learn to an already complicated game!

And yes, the possible bomber inconsistency points in the direction that nothing should die.

Offline DireKrow

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #136 on: April 12, 2020, 12:32:44 am »
The stoner specifically kills the user and not other nearby lemmings though. The bomber also does this. Sacrificial skills and skills which kill other lemmings are very different things, imo. I'm not completely sold on lemmings killing other lemmings being a good thing. That said...

Making the laser lethal serves as an interesting way to differentiate it from the fencer, however I think it greatly limits its use for freeing crowds from below. That's one of its main use cases, especially in L2, and would be in NL too due to its steeper angle compared to the fencer. Having to design or play around it so you could free the crowd without killing them feels... fiddly and not fun.

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Offline GigaLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #137 on: April 12, 2020, 01:40:26 am »

Quote
If everyone is indeed rather willing to accept the Laser Blaster

The L2 upwards laser blaster is weak. Anything interesting with the upwards blaster would get too fiddly.

Instead, combine the Laser Blaster with the desire for the tunneler. Have the Laser Blaster shoot forward at a steep angle:



In front of a wall, it's a tunneler.

It is ranged in that it can shoot over chasms.

It is still mostly vertical in spirit.

-- Simon

Why didn't I think of that? I approve of this approach!

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #138 on: April 12, 2020, 05:49:14 am »
First, in regards to the slider: to be honest, I'm starting to warm up to the idea - I do think it has potential, particularly if it's given synergy with the shimmier. I can't deny that I use the shimmier a lot and would almost certainly find a use for it. My only real concern with it is that accepting it would require giving up the laser blaster, mortar, or spear-thrower (or similar skills). Then again, the way I usually design levels, the slider would almost certainly see the most use out of the proposed options - I'm not sure I have a lot of level ideas that need a laser blaster, mortar, or spear-thrower. It would also nicely sidestep the whole "should the skill kill lemmings?" argument, as the answer is almost certainly "no." Honestly, the more I think about it, the more it's becoming my favorite idea. I withdraw all previous opposition to the slider, under the condition that the slider would be able to transition to a shimmier.

Plus, what with the lemming-killing discussion going on, the worst plausible implementation I can think of for the slider (i.e. a floater that requires a wall with no skill synergies) would just result in a skill I wouldn't find very useful, rather than a skill I would hate having to deal with.



I'm okay with sacrificial skills such as the bomber or stoner. I must agree with WillLem and DireKrow that the new skill should not be indiscriminately lethal to other lemmings. No current skill does this, and I think it wouldn't be fun to use, neither as a designer nor as a player, as the lethality, particularly if it can kill multiple lemmings at the same time, is something that must be worked around in ways that I don't imagine would be particularly fun.

As a player, it's difficult to know if you're doing well on lemming count, because it's hard to plan for how many lemmings are going to die from each use of the skill. Many levels would be created with tight death limits that would require a lot of precision to ensure the skill doesn't kill too many lemmings.

As a designer, you'll have to account for the player losing fewer lemmings than you thought were possible, which would introduce backroutes if a clever player manages to find ways to minimize the death count that you hadn't thought of (as they would now be free to lose more lemmings in another part of the level). Because of this, designers would likely have three options, none of which are great: first, they can create a very restrictive design that requires the player to carefully optimize the skill placement such that the minimum number of lemmings die (note that if the skill doesn't go off instantly - as in stackers vs. stoners, not timed vs. instant bombers - this would be very difficult to forecast). Second, they could make sure to always provide a clear shot that avoids killing any lemmings (this is probably the best option), but this defeats the whole purpose of having the skill be lethal in the first place. Third, they could avoid having any other areas in the level where lemmings can die, which limits the number of options the designer has.

If you instead limit the skill to only kill one lemming (not counting sacrificial skills), this would logically require that the skill gets interrupted. Otherwise, why would the first lemming to cross into a laser blaster die, but not the second? Why would a spear thrower impale the first lemming to intercept the spear, but not the second?

I also agree with the consistency argument: currently, zombies are not immune to anything that regular lemmings aren't (well, except other zombies, but that's because they're already zombies), nor are regular lemmings immune to anything that zombies are not. I don't think this should be changed. I think maybe the best option for getting rid of zombies but not other lemmings would be some sort of dezombification object.

Thus, the new skill should kill neither regular lemmings, nor zombies.



For the record, I generally don't use zombies because I find the feature difficult to design for. I don't think having a skill to kill zombies would make this any easier, because I'd still have to account for the player finding ways to avoid killing the zombie and thus having an extra, potentially very powerful skill to use somewhere else.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2020, 07:51:21 am by Dullstar »

Online IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #139 on: April 12, 2020, 10:04:59 am »
I only thing I see for the slider side currently is the statement "I have level/combination ideas" that comes up from a few people again and again.

Even if we ignore the fact that in most cases the slider can be substituted by already existent skills it still has massive problems gamedesign wise in the current state of NL:

- If you like it or not, it is yet another movement skill on top of the pile. We already have way more than enough!

- Even worse when it's yet another permanent skill! We are already overloaded with them and currently got 5 --> That would mean a 30% of them would be permanent! Simon explained it quite good:

Quote
Permanents introduce state that is hard to see, and come with lots of special interaction rules. Have too many permanents, they'll get in each other's scope, and thus the need for rules grows quadratically.

And permanents have a higher chance to turn out the weakest in hindsight. The floater is the weakest skill in Lemmings 1. Runner and floater are the two weakest skills in Lix. The disarmer is the weakest skill in NL.

- As Simon already explained, it overrides normal rules. "The skill must bring a ton of design goodness to overcome this massive burden" is not given.

- With all the combinations, it is a ton of extra rules the player has to learn which overcomplicate the game even further.


These points stand despite personal preferences and no matter that you already have level ideas for it. Again, I already showed that most of these ideas can be substituted. "I have many ideas in my head" just is not enough to add something as this can be said about almost everything.


Myself, I am willing to support both types of ranged projectile skills and the angled laser blaser Simon has proposed.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2020, 11:33:59 am by IchoTolot »

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #140 on: April 12, 2020, 10:48:31 am »
I do not think the Slider should be a permanent skill: it would be far better as a single-use skill that could be used to temporarily cancel a Climber.

That said, I agree with Icho that maybe there are a few too many movement skills and the chance to introduce another constructive/destructive skill is worth considering.

That said, the Slider is probably still top of my list.

Ultimately, whatever skills are proposed, I am strongly against the idea of anything that kills unassigned lemmings. Dullstar's reasoning is pretty much the same as my own on this one.

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #141 on: April 12, 2020, 07:46:20 pm »
Personally, I'm very convinced that we don't want a skill specifically just to kill zombies. And following on from this, killing as a general side effect, I indeed think this needs to be a general "all lemmings including but not limited to zombies" based on reading discussions so far.

I'm also fairly sure even this latter idea isn't too popular, but I've put up a poll to make sure. If the results fall the way I'm expecting, we can rule out that idea now.

Offline Proxima

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #142 on: April 12, 2020, 08:12:39 pm »
I voted for the middle option, but I don't think it's a good question. Clearly, it depends on what the skill is. The Mortar (which is still my second favourite of the proposed skills) would be improved by lethality as a balancing measure; the Hookshotter, Spear Thrower and Laser Blaster could have lethality but it's not necessarily an improvement, so it may be better to leave out lethality for simplicity. I certainly don't agree with the ideological principle that having a lethal skill is a bad thing in itself. Many puzzles in the game require losing a few lemmings and require the player to work out where they need to make acceptable sacrifices; that is a deep part of the game and isn't going to go away.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #143 on: April 12, 2020, 08:45:59 pm »
Quote
"I have many ideas in my head" just is not enough to add something as this can be said about almost everything.

Actually, that is a very good argument for a skill. Because what's the point of a skill being introduced if people don't have a sufficient number of level ideas to warrant the inclusion of that skill? :P

Too limited use has always been Nepster's main argument for culling stuff. So if a skill gives level designers tons of ideas to work with, and already does so long prior to their introduction, that's a very strong mark in their favour! Why should namida put in the effort otherwise if a skill is barely going to be used?

And as kieran has stated about the Laser Blaster, having tons of ideas for one skill is absolutely NOT something you can say about any skill and simply take for granted. He stated he really had to actively go out of his way to make the Laser Blaster worthwhile.

The diagonal Laser Blaster, in comparison, sounds like a nice idea in principle. Though I would have to make up my mind about its potential similarity to the Fencer, which I already criticised when it came to a steep diagonal Tunneler. I would definitely take a diagonal Laser Blaster over a Mortar any day though!

For example, it would certainly be easier to build into a diagonal Laser-Blaster shaft in a ceiling,
rather than having to use several vertical Laser Blasters to make enough space first... :thumbsup:



Regarding lethality, the fact that we don't have knockback in NeoLemmix and that this behaviour could be replaced with lethality is a fair point I hadn't thought of. Then again, the Mortar's / Bazooker's knockback is one of the main things I hate about it.

So while I would find only limited use for those skills to begin with, having them without knockback would at least make them tolerable.
Having them with knockback would only make them slightly less annoying than in L2, because at least we'd still have skill shadows (but most likely no skill shadows predicting how the knockback would affect other lemmings; only a skill shadow for the projectile itself...).
Having the knockback replaced with lethality would make me hate the skill even more than in L2. Because knockback at least only kills lemmings sometimes, and accidentally so, by flinging them over a wall or beyond the level edges. Built-in lethality would always kill them when applied anywhere close to a crowd. It would also destroy any possibility of a remotely Laser-Blaster-like application of freeing crowds from below. Thus, a lethal Mortar is a skill I would most likely never use on any level that doesn't involve a massive workaround.

So there you have the opposite case of what you criticse about the Slider: A skill that would add a bunch of completely new stuff - but which would also be so far out there that a lot of people would never put it to use. :P


Regarding Simon's criticism:

First of all, since you exclude the Climber from your criticism of permanent skills because of its "ingenuity", I want to remind you that the Slider is in many ways a downward Climber, more so than a Floater surrogate. ;)
Thus, a lot of the redeeming qualities you assign to the Climber would also apply to the Slider. When you say "there's nothing like the Climber", well, actually, the Slider probably comes closer than any other skill.

Second, this idea of "mental pathfinding" will again mainly affect people who like to plan the entire level in advance before even allowing the hatch to open. :P Let's say I do have empathy for people adhering to this philosophy... but not a lot of patience, in the sense that I often don't see how the rules of the game should bow to this "demand".

The Slider's behaviour is completely predictable when planning a level in advance. It's just that people obviously aren't as used to it yet as they are to the Climber. But just like you need to factor in a Climber going over walls when you plan a level solution, you'll have to do the same for the Slider. This will take some time to adapt, and even our most adept level solvers will have to learn something new.

Thus, criticising a skill for making mental pathfinding more difficult to me sounds an awful lot like "I don't like this skill because it would require me to think too much"... which would be antithetical to the idea of playing a puzzle game in the first place. :P

"Mental pathfinding" can be broken by many things that are already well-established in NeoLemmix:

- Splitters send lemmings left and right successively, so you have to count in your head how many lemmings will pass through a Splitter so that the one you currently care about will come out facing the right direction. This "counting" isn't that different from what the Slider would require.
- Similarly, teleporters and receivers can be used to turn lemmings as well.
- Gliders can bounce off walls several times during a drop, and it's hard to predict their exact trajectory until you see them fall.



Quote
I do not think the Slider should be a permanent skill: it would be far better as a single-use skill that could be used to temporarily cancel a Climber.

This used to be a valid request prior to the introduction of the Jumper, since it wasn't possible to cancel a Climber by assigning a Walker. But now that we have wall jumping as a way to get a Climber off a wall - which is a distinctive advantage over Lemmings 2: The Tribes where Climbers can't actually jump off a wall! - having the Slider as a non-permanent skill just for this purpose seems redundant.

Especially since it would come at the cost of the repeated turning behaviour that makes the L2 Slider so useful and challenging at the same time.

As discussed in the Slider physics thread, when Sliders and Climbers overlap in L2, the Climber takes precedent. So a permanent Slider-Climber jumping towards a wall will always climb, but you can still release him again by assigning a Jumper.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2020, 08:55:23 pm by Strato Incendus »
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 Dullstar

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #144 on: April 12, 2020, 09:29:05 pm »
Quote from: Strato Incendus
Actually, that is a very good argument for a skill. Because what's the point of a skill being introduced if people don't have a sufficient number of level ideas to warrant the inclusion of that skill? :P

Too limited use has always been Nepster's main argument for culling stuff. So if a skill gives level designers tons of ideas to work with, and already does so long prior to their introduction, that's a very strong mark in their favour! Why should namida put in the effort otherwise if a skill is barely going to be used?

I have to agree with this. What I'm trying to consider here is, "If I get this skill, what am I going to do with it?" If we were, hypothetically, to get all four of the Slider, Laser Blaster, Mortar, and Spear Thrower, because of how I usually design levels, it's almost certain that I would use the Slider the most.

The lethality argument did give me a push to reconsider the existing proposals (and therefore change my mind about the Slider), but even if we decide on a nonlethal skill (which is looking quite likely at this point; it doesn't look very popular based on the poll results so far), it doesn't change the fact that I have the most ideas about how to use the Slider.

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #145 on: April 12, 2020, 09:37:21 pm »
I voted for the middle option, but I don't think it's a good question. Clearly, it depends on what the skill is. The Mortar (which is still my second favourite of the proposed skills) would be improved by lethality as a balancing measure; the Hookshotter, Spear Thrower and Laser Blaster could have lethality but it's not necessarily an improvement, so it may be better to leave out lethality for simplicity. I certainly don't agree with the ideological principle that having a lethal skill is a bad thing in itself. Many puzzles in the game require losing a few lemmings and require the player to work out where they need to make acceptable sacrifices; that is a deep part of the game and isn't going to go away.

Then the middle option is right for what I'm trying to gauge here. What it comes down to is that I'm seeing a few people say "skills killing lemmings other than the user shouldn't happen, period" - I'm trying to gauge whether this is a common opinion, or just one that a few people are vocal about (but it seems it is quite common). If so, then we can categorically rule out any such effect, for any skill. If not, any specific case would still be considered on its individual merits; it wouldn't become a "we're definitely getting a fatal skill".

I make a point of including neutral options, where suitable, because there are people who don't know or don't care, or are open to both possibilities. I feel it's important that someone who's in the middle can express this in these polls, rather than having to think "I'm leaning slightly more towards one answer than the other" and vote accordingly, which ultimately creates the appearance of more support / dissent (as applicable) than there really is.

Offline Proxima

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #146 on: April 12, 2020, 09:46:01 pm »
Too limited use has always been Nepster's main argument for culling stuff. So if a skill gives level designers tons of ideas to work with, and already does so long prior to their introduction, that's a very strong mark in their favour! Why should namida put in the effort otherwise if a skill is barely going to be used?

Three years on, can we please just give this a rest? Nepster put a ton of work into NeoLemmix as well as being one of the best level designers in the community. I wouldn't still be using NL at all without his work on giving us a decent editor. I don't know where he is now or why he hasn't been around (and as far as I know, none of us do), but I miss him, I hope he's okay and I'd love to see him come back. It's a gross insult that you only seem to remember him as the guy who culled stuff.

For one thing, it's not even accurate; there have only been two occasions in NL's history when features have been culled, and Nepster was only in charge of one of them. I know you happened to join the forum at that time and that has coloured your perception; but Nepster promised that once new-formats was out, things would stabilise, there would be no more culls, and that is exactly what has happened.

For another, NL has continued to evolve, and now is even more firm about its philosophy of being a puzzle game that doesn't want to be associated with the execution difficulty of original Lemmings. Even if Nepster hadn't culled radiation and slowfreeze, it seems pretty certain that by now, namida would have done so at some point. (And finally -- the culls were done after a forum discussion, so it's not fair to blame Nepster alone. We, as a community, agreed to remove those features, just as earlier we agreed to remove gimmicks.)

Online IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #147 on: April 12, 2020, 10:01:14 pm »
Quote
Actually, that is a very good argument for a skill. Because what's the point of a skill being introduced if people don't have a sufficient number of level ideas to warrant the inclusion of that skill?

It's not on its own and that is what you seem to not get. The main thought must always also contain the consideration if it makes sense in the context of the game, if it adds too much complexity for too little gain, or if it's too similar. Otherwise you just get an ugly mix of ideas and a crappy game.

You mostly just think about the number of levels you can make and not much more. Not seeing that most ideas can either already be replicated or are just very specific, while also not spending much thought about the added complexity that comes with it that everybody has to learn.

Quote
Too limited use has always been Nepster's main argument for culling stuff. So if a skill gives level designers tons of ideas to work with, and already does so long prior to their introduction, that's a very strong mark in their favour! Why should namida put in the effort otherwise if a skill is barely going to be used?

I have to say it: Nepster was totally right with his culling! :8(): And his current abscense is certainly felt! We get more and more careless in terms of adding gimmicky stuff and we get in very dangerous territory with all of the recent and planned additions! Today I think I should have helped and supported him more in his actions, we lost our counterweight to the adding.
The game is getting very close to being completely overloaded and the danger of fearing away new players with all the stuff is growing rapidly.

Dont believe me? We already have such a case right here: kaywhyn.

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I honestly thought I would never get myself into Neolemmix and would just stuck to Lemmini and Superlemmini, but surprisingly it's not as bad as I thought. I think the biggest turnoff for me was the huge amount of features in Neolemmix, which was why it took me at least 5 years after I first used Lemmini.
There you have it, but we keep on cheering for every new idea that has even the tiniest of usages that is popping up here and amplify the problem. That's also why the final version needs to happen soon! :8():

That's why I argue so hard against a slider that mostly runs on the argument "I have many ideas in my head" and those ideas are for the most part easily replicated with the current methods or very specific. The skill also has a ton of extra rules that come with it.
I rather take a fire and forget skill like the projectile ones or the laser blaster there that may lead to less levels from you, but a more easy to understand skill!


Quote
Second, this idea of "mental pathfinding" will again mainly affect people who like to plan the entire level in advance before even allowing the hatch to open. :P Let's say I do have empathy for people adhering to this philosophy... but not a lot of patience, in the sense that I often don't see how the rules of the game should bow to this "demand".

Here you deny reality again. NL follows the philosophy that this is possible!

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I want to remind you that the Slider is in many ways a downward Climber, more so than a Floater surrogate.

Lemmings can fall down naturally, but cannot naturraly go up.

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Thus, criticising a skill for making mental pathfinding more difficult to me sounds an awful lot like "I don't like this skill because it would require me to think too much"... which would be antithetical to the idea of playing a puzzle game in the first place.

I critisize it and I love thinking! I just hate unnessesary thinking!
« Last Edit: April 12, 2020, 11:13:39 pm by IchoTolot »

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #148 on: April 12, 2020, 10:07:19 pm »
Too limited use has always been Nepster's main argument for culling stuff. So if a skill gives level designers tons of ideas to work with, and already does so long prior to their introduction, that's a very strong mark in their favour! Why should namida put in the effort otherwise if a skill is barely going to be used?

Three years on, can we please just give this a rest? Nepster put a ton of work into NeoLemmix as well as being one of the best level designers in the community. I wouldn't still be using NL at all without his work on giving us a decent editor. I don't know where he is now or why he hasn't been around (and as far as I know, none of us do), but I miss him, I hope he's okay and I'd love to see him come back. It's a gross insult that you only seem to remember him as the guy who culled stuff.

For one thing, it's not even accurate; there have only been two occasions in NL's history when features have been culled, and Nepster was only in charge of one of them. I know you happened to join the forum at that time and that has coloured your perception; but Nepster promised that once new-formats was out, things would stabilise, there would be no more culls, and that is exactly what has happened.

For another, NL has continued to evolve, and now is even more firm about its philosophy of being a puzzle game that doesn't want to be associated with the execution difficulty of original Lemmings. Even if Nepster hadn't culled radiation and slowfreeze, it seems pretty certain that by now, namida would have done so at some point. (And finally -- the culls were done after a forum discussion, so it's not fair to blame Nepster alone. We, as a community, agreed to remove those features, just as earlier we agreed to remove gimmicks.)

I can definitely say that I would have culled most of the stuff Nepster did sooner or later, too. The biggest exception, I've already reverted (the antisplat pads). Wrap was culled by me, not by Nepster, and I've always said I'd be willing to look at bringing it back in a less-gimmicky, more-fair form. The only other one that I'm wanting to bring back is the no-effect triggered animations, and even that, I do see where Nepster was coming from. (I'll also go on record as saying that another of his culls that was proposed but didn't happen - the Disarmer - is something I would not have even considered culling. A skill is far too "core" to do that to.)

I definitely spoke against some of Nepster's culls at the time, but in hindsight, they were the right move, and I almost certianly would have come around to it sooner or later. This in turn would have meant an entire extra round of culls.

Likewise, as much as I criticize some of the coding of his editor, it's still a huge improvement over the old one's code, and I'm definitely very glad we have it.

Offline geoo

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #149 on: April 12, 2020, 10:38:45 pm »
Reading (and misunderstanding) the proposition of the creator gave me a different idea for a very versatile skill that could in particular increase the value of any existing movement skills:
The trailer/tracer: Once assigned, for a fixed amount of time (e.g. 2 seconds) it would, each frame, place a small block of terrain (say 4x4 pixels) at its current position (above its feet). In other words, it would trace out the trajectory of the lemming with a terrain trail for 2 seconds.
Examples:
- with a walking lemming, it would simply elevate the floor by 4 pixels
- with a jumper, it would create a bridge between the jump starting point and its destination
- with a hang glider, it would make a slope that lemmings can walk up or down
- with a faller or floater, it would create a wall that can be climbed
- with a shimmier, it would create a platform below the ceiling (not sure how useful that is...)
- walking over a shallow digger hole that's currently being dug, it could plug up the digger's hole.
- with a swimmer it could close up a water gap

I guess it would make the stoner somewhat redundant, though it would bring a lot of new things to the table to be a valuable addition regardless. (Also see discussion below.)
Furthermore a weaker skill is not entirely useless, sometimes the levels designer might want to give the player a weaker skill to prevent alternative solutions.

The slider overrides normal rules at some future time: The next/every time the lem would fall, the lem slides instead. This breaks mental pathfinding. The skill must bring a ton of design goodness to overcome this massive burden.
I consider this a boon rather than a burden for the slider. Having the slider turn always around was core to many puzzles in QFK, and I found it to be quite refreshing.
That said, it is true that the glider can provide this feature with appropriate terrain design (i.e. a wall that the glider bumps into and turns around), and in that sense makes the slider a weaker addition to NL than it is in L2. It still has the link-up with the shimmier going for it which you can't replicate with any other skill, but maybe that's not enough.

I'm happy to see that Kieran has chimed into the discussion, if anyone he should be the authority on the usefulness of L2 skills.
It seems like we agree on the rather limited use of the laser blaster and projectile terrain creation skills, though I also personally find the use of projectile terrain destruction skills rather limited as well from my experience.

Simon's proposition of the angled laser blaster seems definitely better than either of those. Fast upward gain seems to be something new, and at the same time with a sufficient blasting range it could emulate the ability to make dents in remote walls or ceilings of projectile destructive skills without having the liability of their rather awkward projectile arc.
I guess like projectiles it could be nerfed by making the laser beam lethal; at the same time it poses the risk of making certain things possible but fiddly, e.g. timing the blast into terrain populated by lemmings in such a way that no-one gets hurt, something that a level designer cannot rely on for backroute prevention, but at the same time won't want the player to require doing.

With regards to this making the fencer redundant: As before, I don't think that should be an argument against a skill if it brings enough new things to the table. It might just mean that the fencer shouldn't have been in the game in the first place; in many instances a basher does the job just as well too.

Permanents introduce state that is hard to see, and come with lots of special interaction rules. Have too many permanents, they'll get in each other's scope, and thus the need for rules grows quadratically.

And permanents have a higher chance to turn out the weakest in hindsight. The floater is the weakest skill in Lemmings 1. Runner and floater are the two weakest skills in Lix. The disarmer is the weakest skill in NL.
Just because some engines made bad choices in which permanent skills they chose doesn't mean that permanents generally make bad choices. The climber is one of the best skills. I rather think that their limitation is that they basically have to be movement skills, so you cannot have too many very unique ones of those. So if you do have many of them it's very likely that some of them suck or are redundant. But that just means that they need to be chosen wisely. One unique thing they bring to the table is that they allow you do to multiple things with a single assignment, which I think is always a good feature to have in a level. The floater is weak because you need to put a lot of effort to make use of it more than once. The runner is weak because it doesn't do anything (in L2 it would hop over small gaps, setting it apart from the rest of the crowd at least). The disarmer and swimmer are weak because their use cases are so very specific. I'm pretty sure if there'd been a lengthy discussion like now, the runner wouldn't be in Lix and the swimmer wouldn't be in NL.

The climber, glider, slider and L2 runner all bring good features to the table with a lemming having that skill easily employing its feature multiple times in a level. On their own they are great, but with the jumper in the game the L2 runner becomes less unique, and similarly with the glider in the game the slider becomes less unique. It always depends on the context. Now if a new skill is more versatile but makes another one redundant, that's more a point saying the old one shouldn't have been there in the first place rather than a point against the new skill. But with things being the way they are and skill cullings being quite unlikely, in practice it might make the new skill a less attractive addition even if it is a good one.

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #150 on: April 12, 2020, 11:09:14 pm »
As much as I like the idea of the tracer, implementation would get very messy especially with regards to skills like the Jumper, so I'll have to say no to that one.

I'm also at this point, based on poll results (0 yes, 3 neutral including myself, 6 no), going to rule out any possible "kills lemmings other than the user" effect.

Offline geoo

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #151 on: April 12, 2020, 11:29:27 pm »
That's surprising to hear, I would have guessed that to be very simple to implement. What kind of mess is the code if this is tricky to do?
I mean, if you know the coordinate where to draw the lemming you also know the coordinate where to place the block?

Offline Dullstar

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #152 on: April 12, 2020, 11:34:28 pm »
It's not on its own and that is what you seem to not get. The main thought must always also contain the consideration if it makes sense in the context of the game, if it adds too much complexity for too little gain, or if it's too similar. Otherwise you just get an ugly mix of ideas and a crappy game.

You just think about the number of levels you can make and not much more. Not seeing that most ideas can either already be replicated or are just very specific, while also not spending much thought about the added complexity that comes with it that everybody has to learn.

This seems more to me like an argument against any further new skills than against the Slider specifically. Every new skill introduces complexity. I fail to see how the Slider doesn't make sense in the context of the game. From what I remember when I first started with NeoLemmix, the new skills were a little overwhelming at first, but I think it was more of an issue with the content that was available at the time. The Introduction Pack we had at the time (different than the one that's being worked on now) didn't really do a good job introducing the skills; the puzzles, while they weren't bad, were, in my opinion, too complicated for someone who literally just learned what the new skills even do, particularly when you're being introduced to 8 new ones in quick succession. This is the real strength of the Fun rank in the original game: the any-way-you-want levels, featuring a variety of different obstacles, give you some time to get a feel for how all the skills work before you have to solve puzzles with them.

None of the serious contenders cannot have their effects replicated with existing skills. Some take more work than others, but every single one is replicatable. The Slider is no different from the others in that regard, because the workaround is ALWAYS going to have limitations.

Laser Blaster: (Bottomless Pit or Water) + Platformer + Digger
Mortar: Jumper + Bomber + maybe a Climber
Spear Thrower: Bomber + (Builder or Platformer) + (Climber or Jumper)
Slider: (Floater + Walker) or (Glider + Terrain/One-Way Fields)
Slider -> Shimmier transition: Specific terrain setup (climber and climberless variants available) + Jumper + Shimmier

Offline ccexplore

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #153 on: April 12, 2020, 11:45:07 pm »
I'm happy to see that Kieran has chimed into the discussion, if anyone he should be the authority on the usefulness of L2 skills.
It seems like we agree on the rather limited use of the laser blaster and projectile terrain creation skills, though I also personally find the use of projectile terrain destruction skills rather limited as well from my experience.

In fact, I'm pretty sure if we exclude Kieran's levels (just to get a sense of how other people designed their levels), the remaining custom L2 levels in this forum either never used the bazooka/mortar, or maybe at most one or two levels did.  At least that's how I remember it, feel free to correct me though.  In contrast, somehow the projectile construction skills got quite a bit more use over those same levels.  Sure, maybe not the best possible uses all the time, but you need to keep in mind the average level designers as well, and to expect to see some more "ordinary" uses alongside a few "cooler" uses.

But it might not be a good comparison anyway because the knockback effect could well be a reason why the projectile destruction skills are avoided for custom L2 levels.  Then again, for whatever reasons it just never crossed my mind at all to ever try to use it in any of my 6 or 7 or so custom levels, I guess I just happened to have better ideas that make use of other skills in L2.

My (possibly inaccurate) recollection is also that of the various appearances of the projectile construction skills in either geoo's or my levels, only maybe 2-3? actually used it in a splatform capacity (though at least in two cases, the same instance of skill usage also served double/triple other purposes).  However, IIRC it is also true that on a decent number of levels the skill was in effect used in combination with other skills as part of some core trick.  These combinations (with one minor exception) won't be applicable for NeoLemmix due to skills already ruled out.  In the remaining cases, the uses may well be somewhat incidental and generally not part of any trick.  So perhaps the projectile construction skills aren't very "spectacular" to use in most cases, but then again, not every single builder or platformer used in custom levels will all be brilliant uses either; sometimes you just need them to go from point A to point B.  But still, if we're talking about the last skill to ever be added, maybe the projectile construction skills are a little bit too on the boring side to consider?  Then again, I would've said the same for the projectile destruction skills if Kieran didn't come out in favor of them over the other proposed ones.

=====================

A little sad that geoo's trailer/tracer has to get ruled out, it does sound pretty cool and interesting, and also addresses Ichotolot's concern about complexity (there are very little new things to learn).  Oh well. :(

Online IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #154 on: April 12, 2020, 11:51:31 pm »
Quote
Every new skill introduces complexity. I fail to see how the Slider doesn't make sense in the context of the game.

I think you misread me there. I did not say the slider makes no sense in the context of the game, but that the main thought about adding a feature must always also contain the consideration if it makes sense in the context of the game, if it adds too much complexity for too little gain, or if it's too similar.

The slider fails in the last 2 points:

- It adds just very little for too much complexity, esspecially with the extra jumper/climber/shimmier transitions. The other contenders do not have these extra rules!

- It's too similar compared to the effect of alrerady existent skills, much more and more easily than the other contenders, as stated and showed time and time again.

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This seems more to me like an argument against any further new skills than against the Slider specifically.

I am also totally fine with that to be honest! ;)


I would have been open with the trailer/tracer suggestion, it definitly sounds interesting.

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #155 on: April 13, 2020, 12:01:12 am »
That's surprising to hear, I would have guessed that to be very simple to implement. What kind of mess is the code if this is tricky to do?
I mean, if you know the coordinate where to draw the lemming you also know the coordinate where to place the block?

For starters - what happens with the inbetween pixels? For example - a faller moves down 3 pixels per frame. A jumper could make a total of up to 6 "one pixel horizontal or vertical" movements in a single frame - and possibly more vertical movement at the end under specific conditions when hitting a wall as a climber / close to the top.

But the thing that really set off alarm bells for me here is the fact that the placed terrain could interfere with the lemming's own movement. Of course, ideally, it wouldn't, but special handling would be needed to ensure that - especially in cases where it might affect future frames.

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #156 on: April 13, 2020, 12:53:51 am »
I've put another poll up to hopefully eliminate some of the remaining "under consideration" options.

Offline Simon

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #157 on: April 13, 2020, 01:06:52 am »
The slider has merit, e.g., in light of the climber-shimmier trinity.

The opportunity cost is merely so high because of the artificial requirement that no other skills be added. With the slider, you'd add a movement skill with zero inter-lemming interaction.

-- Simon

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #158 on: April 13, 2020, 01:20:11 am »
I'll also go on record as saying that another of his culls that was proposed but didn't happen - the Disarmer - is something I would not have even considered culling. A skill is far too "core" to do that to.

I'd like to add something to that if I may:

The Disarmer is a skill that, whilst it basically only has 1 use, actually has a great deal of puzzle potential:

Use of the Disarmer as a highly valuable pickup skill is perhaps the most obvious: if there's a row of traps that can't be build over or bashed under, you need a Disarmer. Place the pickup somewhere difficult to get to, and it suddenly becomes the key to unlocking the level.

High release rates make the Disarmer skill somewhat compromised in cases where there are rows of traps that need to be disarmed, which can make for interesting crowd-control situations.

Pre-assigned Disarmers can be placed such that the challenge becomes navigating that lemming to the level's trap before the others get there.

It's a great skill. And I'm not just saying that because of the cute little hi-viz vest I gave it. ;P OK, maybe a little...

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #159 on: April 13, 2020, 01:27:13 am »
If I were able to go back to before the Disarmer was introduced, I would definitely not introduce it in the first place. I just feel that culling a skill is too big of a cull to be acceptable.

Quote
Use of the Disarmer as a highly valuable pickup skill is perhaps the most obvious: if there's a row of traps that can't be build over or bashed under, you need a Disarmer. Place the pickup somewhere difficult to get to, and it suddenly becomes the key to unlocking the level.

In most cases, this can be achieved with an unlock button + locked exit instead.

The other two cases are more interesting, for sure.

Offline geoo

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #160 on: April 13, 2020, 08:39:29 am »
For starters - what happens with the inbetween pixels? For example - a faller moves down 3 pixels per frame. A jumper could make a total of up to 6 "one pixel horizontal or vertical" movements in a single frame - and possibly more vertical movement at the end under specific conditions when hitting a wall as a climber / close to the top.

But the thing that really set off alarm bells for me here is the fact that the placed terrain could interfere with the lemming's own movement. Of course, ideally, it wouldn't, but special handling would be needed to ensure that - especially in cases where it might affect future frames.
I specifically mentioned a 4x4 block of terrain, not a single pixel. That's why I was surprised you'd mention the jumper specifically; does it move more than 4 pixels horizontally or vertically in a single frame? For example, a vector of (3,4) or (4,3) pixels would still be fine with the blocks connecting to each other and being walkable. (Of course, it doesn't have to be 4x4: I chose it because 4 pixels high would ensure lemmings following the main lemming would not get stuck in its terrain). Implementation-wise I would have thought you'd just cache the last (say) 3 or 4 positions of the lemming, and then place the block in the location the lemming was 3 or 4 frames ago, which would make sure the lemming wouldn't bump into its own terrain unless it's moving slower than 1 pixel per frame or changing direction.
So the cases you'd have to worry about would be the slow skills, and directional changes (horizontal and vertical). I believe that these can be solved by specifying a position offset for certain action types: E.g. so climbers don't get stuck in the terrain they create, the blocks could be placed, say, 2 pixels below their effective coordinate. (I guess you could also specify different delays per skill, but I think that would be more complicated and more error prone for skill transitions). That would keep the skill conceptually simple and predictable for players and at the same time make it simple to implement.

For the slow skills:
- I guess terrain creators wouldn't be too much of a concern as if you assign it to a builder and it immediately stops, so be it, applying it to terrain creating skills isn't really a use case.
- Terrain destroyers wouldn't really be affected, just possibly leave a little trail in their tunnel (for diggers and miners, depending on your offset of choice, you could allow them to continue working in mid-air by creating terrain under them if you wanted that behaviour).
- The disarmer stays still for a while, so it would create terrain around itself and then move up onto it when transitioning into walker, creating a little bump; I'd argue that's a corollary of the rules and totally fine.
- Climber I just discussed.

For directional changes:
- Walker turning around (against wall, blocker, or walker skill assignment): should play nicely with the parameters above. The walker would walk up onto its terrain block from 4 frames ago 2 frames after turning around, continuing a nice smooth trail.
- Terrain creators or removers turning on a blocker: see above
- Glider bumping into wall: Not sure how the collision works exactly, but with an offset slightly above it should be possible to have the glider glide under its previously created bridge due to the delay.
- Jumper jumping against wall: depending on whether the jumper is in its upward or downward phase, it might end up landing on its trajectory trail or jump under it. That's a corollary of the physics and seems like fine behaviour to me.
- Climber reaching top and falling down: due to the delay/offset it should land on its pile below and walk off it.
- Shimmier jumping up without reaching ceiling: Same as climber. With repeated assignment could be used to reach higher ceilings

I would guess that by choosing a good delay value and specifying appropriate offsets you would get good behavior for all reasonable cases, avoiding the need for special case handling. Finding these offsets might take a bit of experimentation, but wouldn't add to the code complexity.

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In fact, I'm pretty sure if we exclude Kieran's levels (just to get a sense of how other people designed their levels), the remaining custom L2 levels in this forum either never used the bazooka/mortar, or maybe at most one or two levels did.  At least that's how I remember it, feel free to correct me though. 
I remember making "Friendly Fire", but that exclusively relied on the knockback effect of the bazooka. I believe you can use the bazooka/mortar also to pop balloons, but that obviously wouldn't be a concern in NL.

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This seems more to me like an argument against any further new skills than against the Slider specifically.
I am also totally fine with that to be honest! ;)
Haha, that's what I was talking about in my first post in this thread. :P

Online IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #161 on: April 13, 2020, 09:28:37 am »
The disarmer is certainly something that I only defended because of the levels already relying on it. Otherwise I would never vote for it as its use is extremely limited.

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The Disarmer is a skill that, whilst it basically only has 1 use, actually has a great deal of puzzle potential:...
...It's a great skill. And I'm not just saying that because of the cute little hi-viz vest I gave it. ;P OK, maybe a little...

And this is exactly I was thinking about when I meant we are clapping for every idea now regardless of its actual usefulness and just keep on considering and adding more without thinking about complexity at all.
We are currently having the same thing with the slider now!

Let me give another comparison as the slider reminds me of a unit from the allied faction in Command&Conquer Red Alet 2: The robot tank.

First it sounds great, it's a tank that can float over water and is immune to mind-control units. The speciality is that it needs a connection to a robot control center, if that is cut by low power or by the destruction of the center it deactivates.

Great addition, right? In reality the tank never gets used though. It's main weapon is comparable to the standard battle tank and it's just on par with it, while the robot tank is way more frail. So for land battles it's not good enough as it also lacks range.
Over water you are better off with ships or air units. For mind control you better outrange them or attack them from the sky.
Oh and also the control center weakness is easily exploitable.

Even in the mission they specifically designed for them you are better of doing the job with your commando unit. :P

The slider is our robot tank.

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This seems more to me like an argument against any further new skills than against the Slider specifically.
   
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I am also totally fine with that to be honest! ;)

Haha, that's what I was talking about in my first post in this thread.

The option is always there, we've got way more than enough content! The jumper is being introduced and yet another object type is being considered.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #162 on: April 13, 2020, 09:48:15 am »
Second, this idea of "mental pathfinding" will again mainly affect people who like to plan the entire level in advance before even allowing the hatch to open. :P Let's say I do have empathy for people adhering to this philosophy... but not a lot of patience, in the sense that I often don't see how the rules of the game should bow to this "demand".

To be clear, while it may well be possible in some levels to really plan everything completely before starting, in practice for most levels, most people perform a much more balanced mix of pre-planning and testing out moves to see where they work out as planned vs behaved in ways you failed to account for.  You're also likely to do more adhoc testing when planning leaves you stuck at finding the solution, as will often happen on hard levels.

DireKrow playthroughs and reviews provide excellent, detailed examples of how I see most people tackle levels with a mix of both planning and testing.  Take a read and maybe don't be so dismissive at other people about mental pathfinding.

And anyway, I actually feel far less strongly than Simon about mental-pathfinding the slider.  While it is true that it may take slightly more mental effort to account for the constant turning when planning out a (permanent-skill version of) slider's path, it is at best a weak negative.  It's not super-hard to do so.  That said, I think this same aspect is likely more problematic for level designers actually.  They'll have to be ever conscious that the slider (when implemented as a permanent skill) may not be able to take the same path as the crowd.  Perhaps slightly less of a problem when the slider is being used primarily as a worker in the level.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #163 on: April 13, 2020, 09:55:12 am »
Sorry, Proxima, you hugely misrepresented my position with this, and I think it served to "escalate" the debate a little again ;) :

Quote from: Proxima
Three years on, can we please just give this a rest? Nepster put a ton of work into NeoLemmix as well as being one of the best level designers in the community. I wouldn't still be using NL at all without his work on giving us a decent editor. I don't know where he is now or why he hasn't been around (and as far as I know, none of us do), but I miss him, I hope he's okay and I'd love to see him come back. It's a gross insult that you only seem to remember him as the guy who culled stuff.

This had absolutely nothing to do with me trying to bash Nepster over past arguments; in fact, I've recently been defending the puzzle philosophy behind many of his actions, and indeed praised all the work he put in to convert NeoLemmix to New Formats and introduce the Shimmier. So please don't frame my position as anything else! ;)

In the context of this post, I thought it was clear that I was actually defending Nepster's position on culls: When something gets too little use - which does not only apply to underused skills, but also to gimmicks, Ghosts, and in Nepster's view also anti-splat pads - it isn't worthy of inclusion. That's all this remark was supposed to express.

I do agree with namida that skills, once introduced, are too essential to cull again. That's why I always objected to the introduction of the Runner, for example - because I predicted too little use for it, as well. Not because I would have considered the skill too complex.

And in fact, IchoTolot himself has now put forward the "frequency of use" argument that he dismissed before. :P

Quote from: IchoTolot
First it sounds great, it's a tank that can float over water and is immune to mind-control units. The speciality is that it needs a connection to a robot control center, if that is cut by low power or by the destruction of the center it deactivates.

Great addition, right? In reality the tank never gets used though.

[. . .]

The slider is our robot tank.

While you might not see a lot of opportunities to use the Slider, several other forum members have already stated they would use it a lot. So I think it's apparent that this worry, on a forum-wide level, is unjustified. Judging by kieran's comments, it seems more like a (vertical) Laser Blaster would be our equivalent of the robot tank, because you actively have to go out of your way to make it work. ;)



The tracer sounds like a nice idea, because it could be combined with every other skill. Then again, this makes it at least as powerful as the Cloner, and as tough to implement as the Magno Booter / gravity reversal, which namida has already ruled out.


Quote from: IchoTolot
- It's too similar compared to the effect of alrerady existent skills, much more and more easily than the other contenders, as stated and showed time and time again.

Stated yes, shown no. ;) This is not an objective fact, but merely your opinion, as is the opposite stance on our side.

From our point of view, this similarity that you keep criticising about the Slider is precisely what would allow the skill to fit in organically with the rest.

You object to too much new stuff being added to NeoLemmix since that would make it harder for newer players to memorise everything. Well, the Slider doesn't require you to learn anything new! You just need to get used to a new skill that has a different take on already existing behaviour (surviving splats, holding on to walls, turning around).

You can't demand a skill should bring something new and different to the table (as you claim the Mortar / Spear Thrower do) and then complain that new players would have too much stuff to learn. ;)

I am aware of the example case of kaywhyn, so I'm not disputing that.

Quote from: IchoTolot
I critisize it and I love thinking! I just hate unnessesary thinking!

Who determines what type of thinking is "unnecessary"? You need to factor in how often lemmings will turn around when using a bunch of other skills as well (Blockers, Walkers, Gliders, Cloners, Climbers...)

The Slider does not contribute any new problem in this regard; it is just a new skill.

Quote from: IchoTolot
There you have it, but we keep on cheering for every new idea that has even the tiniest of usages that is popping up here and amplify the problem. That's also why the final version needs to happen soon!

Actually, we don't - that is precisely what the joke-skill-ideas thread is for: To provide a vent for this "overflow" of silly ideas. None of these get "cheered" for. namida may have selected a few skills from that thread and put them up for debate, but that was him looking for a needle in the haystack. Most of the skills and features proposed in that thread are intentionally so specific that it should be obvious to anyone in our community that these skills would not be worth implementing. And WillLem has taken this even further by proposing a lot of skill ideas that are jokes in the sense that they couldn't actually be implemented from a mechanical perspective in the first place.

Quote from: IchoTolot
The game is getting very close to being completely overloaded and the danger of fearing away new players with all the stuff is growing rapidly.
Quote from: IchoTolot
The option is always there, we've got way more than enough content! The jumper is being introduced and yet another object type is being considered.


As Dullstar pointed out, your position could rather be interpreted as objecting to any new skill at all at this point.
If that is your position, it's fine to have, but it seems like the majority is definitely in favour of at least any new skill being introduced. One new user being overwhelmed by the amount of existing features doesn't override this majority opinion.

Instead, it should make us question though whether the NeoLemmix introduction pack is really the best place to start for new users (again, that's not me throwing shade on the work you put into creating it) ;).
Because the introduction pack tries to present an example level for every feature in existence.

That is good and fine and serves a purpose; but for a new player, it can feel like they have to learn all the new stuff by heart first before attempting "actual" levels. In contrast, in original Lemmings, you got to know the skills and features at a slowly increasing pace, through "learning by doing".

To prevent them from being overwhelmed, new forum members can easily be pointed to less complex packs first that only use a fraction of the existing features - like Lemmings Migration and NepsterLems.

The problem is that those packs that restrict themselves to classic skills tend to be very difficult puzzle-wise.
And that, at least for me, was a much larger deterrent when starting out than the multitude of features! ;) If you feel you can't solve any of the existing content, you're likely to just stop playing.

Quote from: IchoTolot
Here you deny reality again. NL follows the philosophy that this is possible!

And it (mental pathfinding) absolutely is possible with the Slider. ;) You just need to acccurately factor in the completely predictable behaviour of how often it will turn around. If a player is too lazy to do that, that is their problem. :P

I'm too lazy to want to predict the exact trajectory of a Mortar's / Spear Thrower's arc. Which is much harder to predict at the start of the level, actually. Once the lemming is at its destined position, you have the skill shadow, sure. But at the start of the level, no lemming is in his destined position. At this point, how often a lemming will turn around is easier to foresee than the exact trajectory of a curve.

As such, it seems like your preferred skill suggestion is actually in greater violation of NeoLemmix's core philosophy than the Slider. :P



Quote from: ccexplore
Take a read and maybe don't be so dismissive at other people about mental pathfinding.

And anyway, I actually feel far less strongly than Simon about mental-pathfinding the slider.  While it is true that it may take slightly more mental effort to account for the constant turning when planning out a (permanent-skill version of) slider's path, it is at best a weak negative.  It's not super-hard to do so.

Oh, don't get me wrong; I like to engage in mental pathfinding myself, so I'm not dismissive about it at all! ;)

I just think it gets out of hand when people object to something that, as you pointed out in this quote, doesn't actually contradict pathfinding approaches (I agree with you here! ;) ). The Slider just requires them to do a few more calculations in their head, so some people feel like it's not in accordance with the philosophy.

And then this leads to demands essentially reading "this should not be implemented because it interferes with my way of mental pathfinding". The player is not entitled to thinking less than the level designer wants them to. If the player determines a level challenges them too much (on a pure puzzle-level, no execution difficulty or unfair surprises), than it's their right to give up. At this point, the level designer has simply beaten them.

Yeah, I've been surprised by the Slider's behaviour a couple of times as well while playing QFK2. But the Slider didn't do anything unfair or unpredictable. Thus, me being surprised by it was down to my mistake - not the fault of the skill. I simply have to learn to factor in its consistent and predictable behaviour when considering my options at the start of the level.

But again, I don't have to actually learn a completely new type of behaviour, like memorising a projectile trajectory, or the size of a crater it causes; I just need to adapt to existing behaviour being combined by this skill in a slightly new way - but this new way offers up many unique interactions that still are logical and completely predictable.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2020, 10:10:27 am by Strato Incendus »
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

Online IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #164 on: April 13, 2020, 10:27:07 am »
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And in fact, IchoTolot himself has now put forward the "frequency of use" argument that he dismissed before.

Your frequency of use argument completely disregards the other tools already available for it.

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While you might not see a lot of opportunities to use the Slider, several other forum members have already stated they would use it a lot. So I think it's apparent that this worry, on a forum-wide level, is unjustified.
Stated, not shown. ;) This is not an objective fact, but merely your opinion, as is the opposite stance on our side.

And exactly these use cases can already be emulated efficiently. You keep on saying the same things and denying or skipping over the counter evidence. I explained it in detail in earlier posts and countless other people also sated that with especially the glider and the floater we can achive the similar things.  Some of the things like the slider shimmier transsition dion't even require an extra skill to emulate in some situations and just a small platform to land and turn on.

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From our point of view, this similarity that you keep criticising about the Slider is precisely what would allow the skill to fit in organically with the rest.

So now it bringing very little new to the table is an advantage? You keep on twisting the arguments to be in your favor regardless the direction they are pointing at.

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To prevent them from being overwhelmed, new forum members can easily be pointed to less complex packs first that only use a fraction of the existing features - like Lemmings Migration and NepsterLems.

Are you really sure you recommended the right packs there?

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You object to too much new stuff being added to NeoLemmix since that would make it harder for newer players to memorise everything....

..As Dullstar pointed out, your position could rather be interpreted as objecting to any new skill at all at this point. If that is your position, it's fine to have, but it seems like the majority is definitely in favour of at least any new skill being introduced. One new user being overwhelmed by the amount of existing features doesn't override this majority opinion.

Excuse me? Do you even read my messages anymore? I am open to the adjusted laster blaster, both projectile skills, even for the tracer geoo suggested and the only thing I am currently strictly against is the slider. Go ahead and make more skill suggestions! I am open and willing to listen!

Now just because I am more hesitant to add new stuff I am again the big bad guy who just says no despite only strictly being against 1 thing currently. I am against your favorite option and therefore I should be marked as the enemy.

At this point I don't see much sense in this discussion anymore. You certainly won't be convinced by arguments anymore and the only thing that counts is that the slider gets implemented.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2020, 11:36:19 am by IchoTolot »

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #165 on: April 13, 2020, 11:19:17 am »
As the poll has got to 8 votes without a single vote for downwards builder, I'm now popping that one on the "rejected" list.

I'll leave the remaining options open for a little bit longer.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #166 on: April 13, 2020, 11:51:08 am »
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could rather be interpreted as objecting to any new skill at all at this point. If that is your position,

Please don't troll.

Let's all focus on the arguments.

-- Simon
« Last Edit: April 13, 2020, 12:59:33 pm by Simon »

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #167 on: April 13, 2020, 12:56:52 pm »
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The Disarmer is a skill that, whilst it basically only has 1 use, actually has a great deal of puzzle potential:...
...It's a great skill. And I'm not just saying that because of the cute little hi-viz vest I gave it. ;P OK, maybe a little...

And this is exactly I was thinking about when I meant we are clapping for every idea now regardless of its actual usefulness and just keep on considering and adding more without thinking about complexity at all.

I agree with you that we need to consider the usefulness of an idea in combination with its potential for over-complicating NeoLemmix - this is is a concern of mine, too, and one of the reasons I'm sitting back from the discussion at the moment. I'm considering what NL felt like to me when I first started using it, and I'm definitely on the side of not wanting to over-complicate things unless the idea is good/useful enough to warrant learning a few extra rules/mechanics.

However, I kinda wish you hadn't used this somewhat jokey remark from me to help illustrate that point, especially because you're ignoring the actual arguments that I made in favour of the Disarmer being a simple but useful skill, which was actually the whole point of that post: the Disarmer is a very simple idea which presents more use-cases than intended, and the silly remark I made shouldn't have been disconnected from this important point in order to try and support an entirely different point.

To re-focus, then, on the main point of my post: the Disarmer makes a highly valuable pickup skill; high release rates compromise its powerfulness (which can make for interesting crowd-control situations); and pre-assigned Disarmers can be placed such that the challenge becomes navigating that lemming to the level's trap before the others get there.

These are valid points, and prove that an idea can be simple and easy to grasp, whilst having a multitude of uses.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #168 on: April 13, 2020, 01:52:24 pm »
@Simon: I'm sorry, I certainly didn't mean to "troll"... but I don't see how the line you quoted can be interpreted as trolling on my part? ;) Both Dullstar and I understood IchoTolot in a way that he would also be fine with no further skills being added beyond the Jumper, and as far as I can tell, he also confirmed this himself:

Quote from: IchoTolot
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        This seems more to me like an argument against any further new skills than against the Slider specifically.
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        I am also totally fine with that to be honest! ;)
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Haha, that's what I was talking about in my first post in this thread.

The option is always there, we've got way more than enough content! The jumper is being introduced and yet another object type is being considered.

Of course I know which new skills IchoTolot supports, and that this means he is not against a 20th skill in general. It just seems to me like he would rather have no new skill at all than having the Slider? ;) Meaning: Would you prefer to have the advantage of fewer new skills to learn for new players, than having the Slider for those who want to use it and simply not use it yourself? I'm asking this as a genuine question.

Obviously, nobody is forced to use a new skill if they don't like it. I certainly wouldn't use the Mortar or Spear Thrower that much; I would most likely create an "alibi" level just to try it out once or twice, but that's about it.

Quote from: IchoTolot
So now it bringing very little new to the table is an advantage? You keep on twisting the arguments to be in your favor regardless the direction they are pointing at.

So do you: You criticise the Slider for not bringing enough new things to the table, and at the same time for supposedly being too complex with what it does add.

I actually do think the Slider brings a lot of new stuff to the table, and does so without adding a lot of complexity, because it relies on existing behaviour
(splat-height survival, holding on to walls, turning around, transitioning from a wall-state (Climber) to a Shimmier or Jumper).

I think this is the source of our disagreement ;) : What we Slider fans call "new" is what you consider "too complex"; and when you remove those aspects, I can see how the Slider may seem like just a more situational Floater.

Regarding workarounds / emulating a skill with existing features:
- For some skills, you need to engage in a workaround to make them worthwhile. This is what kieranmillar described for the vertical Laser Blaster: A skill that doesn't have a lot of use by itself, you actively need to go out of your way to make it work. I'd also put the Spear Thrower in this category: It's a Stoner at a distance. Breaking falls with it is its natural application. Building bridges with several spears is "actively trying to make them work": If Stoner bridges and staircases are frowned upon, then Spear Thrower bridges aren't much better.
- Then there are skills which you can theoretically replace with a workaround - and this is definitely true for the Slider - but this workaround is a hassle involving many more skills (of different skill types). The more skills you need to provide to make a workaround work, the more easily this workaround can be exploited for backroutes.

For Sliders specifically, any workaround to transition into a Shimmier after a drop is bound to include a Stoner. Stoners are infamous for being one of the most backroute-prone skills out there, because they allow you to go down safely anywhere, not just at the wall where the Slider would be able to do it.

I'd argue Stoners are more problematic in this regard than Floaters. In some cases, the Floater can replace the Slider; but for all the Shimmier combinations, the Stoner will be needed. And the Stoner is a much more dangerous replacement for the Slider when it comes to opening the doors for backroutes.

Likewise, when you try to emulate the Slider turning, you either need to use one-way fields - but those affect all lemmings walking / falling through them, whereas one of the Slider's greatest powers is making him walk into the opposite direction than everyone else - or Walkers. And Walkers once again are a very powerful, if not the most powerful NeoLemmix skill, because they can cancel any other skill and turn around lemmings simply anywhere.

Thus, the Slider would be worth implementing in my book, because if most of the workarounds required to simulate this skill involve the two most backroute-prone skills we have - Stoner and Walker - then I'd rather have a "safe" option to implement those same solutions.

As long as we agree that the solutions the Slider would offer are interesting in principle. ;)

It does indeed seem like, in order to be a Slider fan, you need to love the Shimmier as well. People who don't particularly care that much about the Shimmier might also not find its potential interactions with the Slider (as well as Slider with Climber, Slider with Jumper etc.) that compelling.

Just to be clear, I'm not saying you in particular wouldn't like the Shimmier ;) ; I just state this in a general level. Some people prefer to stick to classic skills, so they might simply not care about the Shimmier all that much, and that is fine and valid as well. I could imagine though that some fans of the classic 8 might find themselves replacing the very limited Floater with Sliders here and there, without actually making use of all the interactions the Sliders would offer with other NeoLemmix skills.

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To prevent them from being overwhelmed, new forum members can easily be pointed to less complex packs first that only use a fraction of the existing features - like Lemmings Migration and NepsterLems.
Are you really sure you recommended the right packs there?

You ignored the second part of that statement where I explicitly said that those packs are too difficult for beginners. My argument was that pack difficulty is a much larger obstacle for beginners than a large variety of skills and features. Yet, the people who restrain themselves to classic 8 skills tend to be the most adept puzzle solvers, so the levels they create are on the more challenging side.

What we could use would be an introduction pack that just adds a few more skills, maybe the Jumper and the Walker, or the Jumper and the Shimmier. The rest would be the classic 8. Regarding objects, such a pack could also selectively introduce some - for example teleporters - and use those on several levels, rather than using many different skills and objects, but only once each. This would give the player time to familiarise themselves with e.g. the Jumper, the Shimmier, and teleporters before they move on to the next pack that includes some more stuff.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2020, 02:01:17 pm by Strato Incendus »
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 Proxima

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #169 on: April 13, 2020, 02:22:50 pm »
You ignored the second part of that statement where I explicitly said that those packs are too difficult for beginners. My argument was that pack difficulty is a much larger obstacle for beginners than a large variety of skills and features.[/b] Yet, the people who restrain themselves to classic 8 skills tend to be the most adept puzzle solvers, so the levels they create are on the more challenging side.

I disagree here; most of the classic-8-skills packs date from when there were just those 8 skills. Several of them are on the easier side as NL packs go and are high on most people's lists of recommendations for new players: GeoffLems, DoveLems, MazuLems, PimoLems, LPI. I would include Migration in this list, although that one is a more recent pack that sticks to the classic 8 through choice.

Quote
What we could use would be an introduction pack that just adds a few more skills, maybe the Jumper and the Walker, or the Jumper and the Shimmier. The rest would be the classic 8. Regarding objects, such a pack could also selectively introduce some - for example teleporters - and use those on several levels, rather than using many different skills and objects, but only once each. This would give the player time to familiarise themselves with e.g. the Jumper, the Shimmier, and teleporters before they move on to the next pack that includes some more stuff.

So long as you mean "beginner-level pack" rather than "introduction pack", that's what I'm aiming for with GemLems. It includes the Walker and Jumper along with the classic 8, and all levels select from those 10 skills. (At some points I was considering a different selection of skills, maybe including Shimmier, but now I'm pretty firmly decided.) But it won't have explanatory texts; it just eases players in with gradual increase in complexity, like the original game.

For the NeoLemmix Introduction Pack itself, though, I think you have misunderstood its purpose. It is not meant to be the one-and-only pack new players should play first; it's the pack that you look at when you've reached the stage when you want to familiarise yourself with the full range of features and would appreciate texts stating exactly what they do. To achieve this, it needs to be comprehensive.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #170 on: April 13, 2020, 03:01:52 pm »
Indeed, I know this is precisely the purpose the introduction pack is supposed to serve. ;) I just wasn't aware of which specific other packs we could point new players to aside from the introduction pack.

But GeoffLems, DoveLems, MazuLems, and PimoLems would certainly work. Though some of these still are comparatively difficult. I think MazuLems would be the easiest one.

The fact that these packs were created when only the classic 8 skills were around might actually be an advantage then - because since they still exist and have been updated to New Formats, the level creators didn't have to artificially limit themselves, yet new players can still start out with only few new elements to learn.

Which means, in turn, that we don't have to be too careful with NeoLemmix as a whole when it comes to complexity. Most of the "greatest" packs of all time will always be too difficult for beginners. If new players need to be slowly eased into NeoLemmix anyway, the total number of skills and objects NeoLemmix as an engine offers seems to be of secondary relevance: It's a step-by-step journey either way. ;)
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

Online IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #171 on: April 13, 2020, 03:41:09 pm »
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So do you: You criticise the Slider for not bringing enough new things to the table, and at the same time for supposedly being too complex with what it does add.

Then you clearly still don't understand me then. It does not bring many new things to the table while also being complex to understand with it's combinations possibilities.

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(splat-height survival, holding on to walls, turning around, transitioning from a wall-state (Climber) to a Shimmier or Jumper).

The first thing is handled by floaters, updrafts, anti-splat pads, gliders.

The 2nd by the climber to a degree.

The 3rd by a plethora of methods.

The 4th one is a major point for the complexity and does go further the parkour route which I am not very found of.

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For Sliders specifically, any workaround to transition into a Shimmier after a drop is bound to include a Stoner.

A little terrain platform platform can also do the trick. And that transition in particular I would call way too parkoury for lemmings.

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Likewise, when you try to emulate the Slider turning, you either need to use one-way fields - but those affect all lemmings walking / falling through them, whereas one of the Slider's greatest powers is making him walk into the opposite direction than everyone else - or Walkers. And Walkers once again are a very powerful, if not the most powerful NeoLemmix skill, because they can cancel any other skill and turn around lemmings simply anywhere.

There are way more methods of turning lemmings around than the walker and one-way fields. I even listed a ton of them in an earlier post - speaking about repeating myself.

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As long as we agree that the solutions the Slider would offer are interesting in principle.

I highly disagree here.

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You ignored the second part of that statement where I explicitly said that those packs are too difficult for beginners. My argument was that pack difficulty is a much larger obstacle for beginners than a large variety of skills and features. Yet, the people who restrain themselves to classic 8 skills tend to be the most adept puzzle solvers, so the levels they create are on the more challenging side.

That does not mean the other side is no obstacle, in contrast it can be quite a substantial one.

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Of course I know which new skills IchoTolot supports, and that this means he is not against a 20th skill in general. It just seems to me like he would rather have no new skill at all than having the Slider? ;) Meaning: Would you prefer to have the advantage of fewer new skills to learn for new players, than having the Slider for those who want to use it and simply not use it yourself? I'm asking this as a genuine question.

Yes, I think even no skill is a better option compared to the slider. The advantage of fewer new skills to learn for new players I would say is more important than the mostly redundant use cases the slider provides.
I rather even add a skill that is also partly redundant, but is very easy to use with not as much direct combination methods.

Also, I am still highly in favor for that the new skill is not permanent or movement related. Terrain destruction or creation needs more love.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #172 on: April 13, 2020, 08:09:38 pm »
Okay, let's address this whole "too parkour" issue for once. I think this goes along with this statement by Simon:

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Lemmings is about indirect control. Alter the terrain to shape the path, or you become a blocker to shape other lemmings' paths. The lemming does things that affect other lemmings.

I'd disagree with this premise: Lemmings is about setting up lemmings to alter terrain from the correct spot as much as it is about altering the terrain itself.

Otherwise, levels relying on terrain altering (destructive and constructive skills only) would get very repetitive very quickly, because the worker lemmings creating the path would be Walkers like everyone else. Thus, they couldn't reach any spots that the crowd couldn't reach, which would greatly limit puzzle potential.

The basic ways in which terrain can be modified are already present: Destruction and creation, upward, downward, and horizontal.

My propositions of upward Diggers and downward Builders was met by some with the valid question of whether we actually need to be able to modify terrain in every possible way, because the most important ones - Builders, Platformers, Stackers, and Stoners for construction; Bashers, Miners, Diggers, Fencers, and Bombers for destruction - are already available.

If you think the Slider doesn't add a lot of new things: Why would we need any further terrain-modification skills if these already fulfil 95% of required jobs? ;) Simply because "we haven't had one in a while"? Do we need skills to fulfil a quota, or to inspire level designers to use them in unique and creative ways?

(Actually, the Fencer is younger than the first 8 NeoLemmix skills, so we did have one fairly recently.) And even the Fencer is still being met with objection by some people today (which I don't share, since to me it clearly fills a gap that the Miner and Basher alone can't cover). Maybe we haven't had any new destruction skills ever since because there simply was no need?

The Laser Blaster did come up in past discussions, and was dropped nevertheless in favour of other skills with more design potential. So there would have been ample opportunities to add further destructive skills in the past if people had wanted them, but apparently there were good reasons why movement skills where preferred by the majority.

This idea that parkour levels are somehow bad in general to me seems to be the latest iteration of "pioneer levels are boring / second-class levels", resting on the idea that containing the crowd and having just single worker lemmings create the path makes the level too easy, compared to e.g. flow-control solutions. In turn, I personally regard flow-control levels as fiddly levels with execution difficulty.

If however we can agree that pioneer levels will and should always be a major part of Lemmings, then I think the sky is the limit for how "parkour-like" the path of the pioneers can get: The important part is that the crowd can take a path carved through terrain at the end (because having to assign a bunch of Floaters / Climbers / Jumpers / Shimmiers etc. to every lemming in a crowd can be tedious, of course).

Pioneer levels are simply more interesting when the pioneer(s) can and have to take a different route to set up the path than the crowd taking that path.

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I rather even add a skill that is also partly redundant, but is very easy to use with not as much direct combination methods.

Well, I consider "few combination methods" a bad thing, because it isolates the skill in its applicability. I actually think one of the reasons the Floater and Disarmer are so limited is not because they're permanent skills, but because they're so hard to combine with other skills, or to have them interact with objects in interesting ways.

The Glider and Swimmer in contrast interact with updrafts and water, respectively, and those objects by themselves have several applications (breaking falls, getting lemmings up to different places, serving as a trap / gap in case of water).
« Last Edit: April 13, 2020, 08:21:30 pm by Strato Incendus »
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: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #173 on: April 13, 2020, 08:17:26 pm »
Okay so - while it's only one more vote, I also want to try and get things narrowed down, so, hookshooter is out, tuneller moved into "strong contenders" - although as per some of the discussion (and thinking), I'm merging this overall with the laser-blaster idea. The angle (including maybe vertical) and instantaneous-ness are things that could be discussed as part of the implementation - or if need be, the two can be seperated out again in a later discussion.

Shame about the Hookshooter, I liked that idea more than either of the other remaining willing-to-considers. (Although I can't say I've thought about it much on a usefulness level yet, and so for all I know it might not have survived the in-depth discussion or experimental phases.)

This leaves nothing currently remaining under "willing to consider". Of course, new ideas could still come up; I'm not closing the "initial round" just yet (more just trying to eliminate ideas that have been brought up a while ago but not seeing much interest).



My opinion on the whole parkour thing is - levels shouldn't be deriving their difficulty from finnicky execution of such parts. However, I don't see anything wrong with them simply being options to get a lemming places. The challenge simply needs to come from figuring out that route, not from executing it.

I guess this might be somewhere that NL and Lix differ a bit in philosophy - both agree that the puzzle, not the execution, should be the difficulty; but Lix's ideal philosophy (with some non-conforming elements retained due to tradition / existing content) seems to be "the puzzle is manipulating the terrain, the lixes are a tool for doing so", whereas NeoLemmix's is "the puzzle is manipulating the lemmings, altering the terrain is one thing that can be achieved via this". Obviously, both of these are oversimplifications, but I do get the feeling there's a slight divide along these lines.


Online IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #174 on: April 13, 2020, 08:32:23 pm »
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Okay, let's address this whole "too parkour" issue for once.

It's already getting pretty parkoury for my taste, I just think it's already enough with the upcoming jumper and we should not replicate the mistakes of L2. Sorry that's just my point of view.

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Why would we need any further terrain-modification skills if these already fulfil 95% of required jobs? ;) Simply because "we haven't had one in a while"? Do we need skills to fulfil a quota, or to inspire level designers to use them in unique and creative ways?

That where the whole idea of range came from.

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This idea that parkour levels are somehow bad in general to me seems to be the latest iteration of "pioneer levels are boring / second-class levels", resting on the idea that containing the crowd and having just single worker lemmings create the path makes the level too easy, compared to e.g. flow-control solutions. In turn, I personally regard flow-control levels as fiddly levels with execution difficulty.

That is simply wrong.

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If however we can agree that pioneer levels will and should always be a major part of Lemmings, then I think the sky is the limit for how "parkour-like" the path of the pioneers can get: The important part is that the crowd can take a path carved through terrain at the end

To think the sky is the limit for everything is bad in general. At some point, especially skills, things just get too overcrowded or simply too much.

This late in NL's development cycle keeping complexity low is a hard but important task to do, many programs just get too overloaded with features over time and don't see the red flags. I don't want see that for NL.

How about we both just think about the situation a few days and try to come up with another skill that addresses the issues we both have, maybe then we will find a better solution for everyone?

Offline Proxima

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #175 on: April 13, 2020, 08:39:46 pm »
I didn't expect the Hookshooter ever to be a serious contender, so I'm more than happy that it got as far as the last six :P

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #176 on: April 13, 2020, 09:00:58 pm »
I'm personally very much in favour of the idea of the occasional parkour-style level, anything that brings more variety to the table is a good thing in my book.

Ask yourself, which of these two packs would you rather play:

Pack 1 - VarietyLems

Level 1 - An easy but interesting level with 20 of each skill
Level 2 - A parkour-style level with lots of Climbing, Jumping, Shimmying and Swimming to get around various obstacles
Level 3 - A level where the objective is to get all of the lemmings through a teleporter
Level 4 - A moderately difficult 1-of-each-skill puzzle level
Level 5 - A level with a splat hatch in which a puzzle must be solved to make the fall safe and save every lemming
Level 6 - A multiple-exit level based on floaters and gliders, and how they can get to different places around the level
Level 7 - A very difficult 2-of-each level
Level 8 - An enormous multi-hatch level with a tight time limit and only 1 exit

Pack 2 - SimiLems

Level 1 - A moderately difficult 3-of-each-skill puzzle level
Level 2 - A moderately difficult 2-of-each-skill puzzle level
Level 3 - A moderately difficult 2-of-each-skill puzzle level
Level 4 - A difficult 2-of-each-skill puzzle level
Level 5 - A difficult 1-of-each-skill puzzle level
Level 6 - A difficult 1-of-each-skill puzzle level
Level 7 - A very difficult 1-of-each-skill puzzle level
Level 8 - A very difficult 1-of-each-skill puzzle level

I know which my choice would be, anyway. ;P

Online IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #177 on: April 13, 2020, 09:02:58 pm »
Now for another idea:

The (Jet) Dasher


Movement + Range + Construction, while staying quite simple.

The lemming hops on a jet surfboard and dashes straight forward. If he hits a wall during the dash it gets stuck inside of it creating a platform under him in the process.

Debatable alterations:

- Assignable mid air.
- Assign a shimmier/jumper....etc while dashing.
- Maybe even an exploding surfboard
- Assign to a shimmier/jumper

Here we have the spear from the spear thrower that is not precise anymore with the arc.
It also transports a lemming away from the crowd.
We also have range possibilities.
It's nearly always assignable and gets at least a lem away from a crowd.
Easy way to get over gaps.
Debatable combination possibilities.
......

Here we should have something for everyone:


Parkour
Movement
Construction
Quite simple
Not precise

What do you say?  ???
« Last Edit: April 13, 2020, 10:27:06 pm by IchoTolot »

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #178 on: April 13, 2020, 09:07:19 pm »
I'm personally very much in favour of the idea of the occasional parkour-style level, anything that brings more variety to the table is a good thing in my book.

Ask yourself, which of these two packs would you rather play:

Pack 1 - VarietyLems

Level 1 - An easy but interesting level with 20 of each skill
Level 2 - A parkour-style level with lots of Climbing, Jumping, Shimmying and Swimming to get around various obstacles
Level 3 - A level where the objective is to get all of the lemmings through a teleporter
Level 4 - A moderately difficult 1-of-each-skill puzzle level
Level 5 - A level with a splat hatch in which a puzzle must be solved to make the fall safe and save every lemming
Level 6 - A multiple-exit level based on floaters and gliders, and how they can get to different places around the level
Level 7 - A very difficult 2-of-each level
Level 8 - An enormous multi-hatch level with a tight time limit and only 1 exit

Pack 2 - SimiLems

Level 1 - A moderately difficult 3-of-each-skill puzzle level
Level 2 - A moderately difficult 2-of-each-skill puzzle level
Level 3 - A moderately difficult 2-of-each-skill puzzle level
Level 4 - A difficult 2-of-each-skill puzzle level
Level 5 - A difficult 1-of-each-skill puzzle level
Level 6 - A difficult 1-of-each-skill puzzle level
Level 7 - A very difficult 1-of-each-skill puzzle level
Level 8 - A very difficult 1-of-each-skill puzzle level

I know which my choice would be, anyway. ;P

You've deliberately set this up in a way that tries to push people towards your preferred option, giving vague, boring explanations on the second pack, while on the first one going into specific detail about puzzle levels too (and even giving them names that try to make the first sound good and the second bad). The ideal pack would be to take most of the first one, then throw out the rubbish ideas like the "huge, multi hatch, one minute time limit" level and replace them with more of the good types that it contains.

On the other hand, if it really came down to "take one of these exactly as it is", then the second is nonetheless the better option. Because chances are with the first - many people would get sick of the scrappy levels and not bother to finish all the good ones, possibly even misjudging some of the good ones as scrappies because it's not always possible to know without solving them whether it's eg. something really finnicky vs a really well hidden clever solution (but they may make assumptions based on the pack's / author's reputation).

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #179 on: April 13, 2020, 09:13:53 pm »
Now for another idea:

The (Jet) Dasher


This is a brilliant idea! 8-) 8-) 8-)

If the surfboard also had a countdown timer and exploded when the timer reaches zero, it would also be a range destruction skill as well. It could be that the timer only starts upon contact with terrain and could be as much as 8 seconds.

Either way, I'm very much in favour of this idea! :thumbsup:

The ideal pack would be to take most of the first one, then throw out the rubbish ideas like the "huge, multi hatch, one minute time limit" level and replace them with more of the good types that it contains.

I agree, and you're right - I probably was a bit biased in the way I put that across. :crylaugh:

I made my point, though: variety is a good thing. Even if you don't like a particular kind of level, chances are someone else will. A pack containing something for everyone is more likely to attract more people.

On the other hand, if it really came down to "take one of these exactly as it is", then the second is nonetheless the better option.

Not necessarily - this depends entirely on the quality of the levels themselves.

I think it's also fair to point out that in either of the above examples of packs that I've given, the quality of said pack is not determined by the types of levels it contains. There could be a badly designed VarietyLems and an excellently designed SimiLems, and vice versa. I'd be more attracted to the former initially, but would ultimately prefer the latter if it's a higher quality pack.

Obviously, the ideal would be a high-quality VarietyLems!

Offline Proxima

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #180 on: April 13, 2020, 10:15:38 pm »
I made my point, though: variety is a good thing. Even if you don't like a particular kind of level, chances are someone else will. A pack containing something for everyone is more likely to attract more people.

This whole conversation is off the topic of "NL's 20th skill", but I feel obliged to point out that this isn't necessarily true. People have such divergent tastes that if you try to cater to everyone, the result could be pleasing no-one. For instance, your Level 3, "A level where the objective is to get all of the lemmings through a teleporter", is setting off warning bells in my mind -- it could be done well, for example if getting to the teleporter is the main puzzle and once you're there, things are set up nicely to let everyone in. But if I have a tightly packed bunch of lemmings and have to space them out so they will all go through a teleporter, and it's unforgiving in that any lemming who walks past the teleporter will die, then you've lowered my expectations of the whole pack. And too many levels like that, or one level that's especially bad, and it doesn't matter how good the rest are, I probably won't experience them because I've already put this down and am playing another pack instead.

* * *

Back on topic. I like the jet dasher very much, although not the name -- maybe Surfboarder? It covers the main use cases of the Spear Thrower and Hookshotter without the Spear Thrower's fiddliness, and has a variety of uses without seeming overpowered. My biggest worry is that in some of the cases where you need the movement rather than the terrain, it will seem like just a reskinned Jumper (although it probably goes further than a Jumper, and, like the Hookshotter, it can go straight forward through complex terrain in a way that the Jumper cannot).

I still like the Slider a bit more -- it is a movement skill, but it's different from any we have, and I'd love to get the chance to play around with it. However, all the remaining candidates are very close to each other in my eyes, so I really wish we weren't limited to only choosing one.

Online IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #181 on: April 13, 2020, 10:38:27 pm »
Quote
My biggest worry is that in some of the cases where you need the movement rather than the terrain, it will seem like just a reskinned Jumper

That's why it does not gain height (doesn't hit his head) and instead gains more width. It will be more effective in getting away from a crowd, but it can't reach higher levels like a jumper or be assigned to climbers.




Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #182 on: April 13, 2020, 10:52:20 pm »
People have such divergent tastes that if you try to cater to everyone, the result could be pleasing no-one.

Or, if it's a high quality pack, it could please everyone. I think I've moved on from thinking "variety packs are necessarily good" to thinking "whatever the content/genre of the pack, it needs to be of high quality".

For instance, your Level 3, "A level where the objective is to get all of the lemmings through a teleporter", is setting off warning bells in my mind -- it could be done well... or one level that's especially bad, and it doesn't matter how good the rest are, I probably won't experience them because I've already put this down and am playing another pack instead.

Exactly: it depends on the quality of the level. I think I realise that now. As much as I go on about liking the idea of SuperLemming levels, hidden objects, etc: if it's done badly or tastelessly I'll be the first person to stop playing it, I assure you! If it's done well though, I'd likely see it as a standout level in a standout pack.

But yeah, back on topic... :crylaugh:

* * *

I still like the Slider a bit more

Me too, unless the surfboard is also a destructive item with a countdown timer. That would probably edge it into first place for me!

However, all the remaining candidates are very close to each other in my eyes, so I really wish we weren't limited to only choosing one.

Agreed: maybe if there's equal consensus on the Slider and a ranged contruction/destruction skill (I'm now thinking the Jet Dasher/Surfboarder is clearly the best of these), we could get both...?

Offline Proxima

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #183 on: April 13, 2020, 10:59:07 pm »
Agreed: maybe if there's equal consensus on the Slider and a ranged contruction/destruction skill (I'm now thinking the Jet Dasher/Surfboarder is clearly the best of these), we could get both...?

Well, the "jetboarder" (let's call it that for now) doesn't do destruction, so it doesn't hit all bases unless that's added as part of it (as you proposed). But that seems very artificial; if one of the main use cases is to create terrain, wouldn't the countdown timer undo that by destroying the terrain you just created? That would lead to fiddly levels where you have to use the terrain while it's still in existence. But maybe I've misunderstood.

In any case, I think the jetboarder is a very solid option as it stands, and adding more bells and whistles might undermine it. So I'd much rather have destruction as a separate skill -- I'd be extremely happy if the eventual outcome is "Slider, Jetboarder, and slanted Laser Blaster all get added". Of course, namida has said he only wants to add one and that's fair enough, but maybe someone else will come along and continue work on NL after namida is finished :P

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #184 on: April 13, 2020, 11:03:24 pm »
Something I've mentioned on Discord, but should mention here too especially in light of some ongoing debates:

I don't expect that a decision between the strong contenders will be made primarily by popular vote. A vote might be used to break ties, and/or to perhaps slightly narrow down the field initially; but primarily, I foresee deciding between them based on giving consideration firstly to what kind of puzzles can be made using them, and secondly based on how effectively they can be substituted with existing features / other suggestions - "effectively" here being primarily concerned with the raw physics, but not completely disregarding the questions of "will levels need to look messy" and/or "does the alternative make the solution less well-hidden".

This could even mean that, if none really manage to hold water, they might all get rejected and we don't get any new skill - or that we might go back to the drawing board and look for new ideas / reconsider earlier-rejected ideas.

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #185 on: April 13, 2020, 11:39:28 pm »
if one of the main use cases is to create terrain, wouldn't the countdown timer undo that by destroying the terrain you just created? That would lead to fiddly levels where you have to use the terrain while it's still in existence.

It would essentially allow the jetboarding lemming to gain a temporary platform which would then explode, leaving a bomber-shaped hole, whilst the lemming would simply fall. Or, they'd have the length of the countdown timer to interact with the wall by climbing/bashing/mining/fencing/building away from it, etc.

It basically provides the option for a non-lethal ranged bomber as well as all of its other potential benefits. Maybe this idea does mean that it'd be trying to do too much, and I can't see anything that adds this type of need-to-perform-actions-quickly being very popular, so maybe it's not the best idea.

I think, again, I'm just looking for opportunities to a) have a ranged construction/destruction skill be one and the same skill, and b) have the option to replace bombers with something non-lethal.

I'd much rather have destruction as a separate skill -- I'd be extremely happy if the eventual outcome is "Slider, Jetboarder, and slanted Laser Blaster all get added"

What was the argument for the slanted-Laser-Blaster idea again? I don't see how it's any different from a Fencer...

Offline Proxima

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #186 on: April 13, 2020, 11:53:35 pm »
What was the argument for the slanted-Laser-Blaster idea again? I don't see how it's any different from a Fencer...

Firstly, it's steeper. Simon's proposal is 2 pixels up for 1 across (compared to the fencer's 1 up for 2 across), but it could be even steeper than this. That makes it more akin to a reverse digger, paralleling the fencer being a reverse miner. Sometimes you need a way to get lemmings down from high above, or create a tunnel to get the worker lemming up.

Secondly, the laser blaster goes through air as well as terrain. It can reach places that are completely out of reach for a fencer or the proposed tunneller. One example is to make a dent in a wall, like making a bomber crater from a distance; it wouldn't be bomber shaped, but it would make a dent that would serve a similar purpose of allowing a climber to stop halfway up a wall. (It would also synergise well with the slider, which makes it more of a shame we can't have both.) Another example is to make a dent in a ceiling, to stop shimmiers in a desired location.

Offline Dullstar

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #187 on: April 14, 2020, 02:18:38 am »
If it were up to me, I'd want all of the strongest contenders to be implemented. I don't think namida wants to do that, however, and it is ultimately up to him. I think the fact that this carries the implication that the new skill will be the last new one ever is maybe causing people to get a little heated about their favorites since there's now somewhat of mentality that it's now or never for everyone's desired new skills. When the Shimmier got implemented in favor of the Jumper, there was still an understanding that this didn't mean there would never be a Jumper in NeoLemmix; just that the Shimmier would come first.



I do think Icho has a point about complexity, even if I disagree that the Slider would contribute to this moreso than any other skill. I don't feel the problem lies with the game itself, but rather how new players are introduced to it. The Introduction Pack helps, but we still need to provide a better transition from the Introduction Pack into other level packs, and to make sure players have room to play around with the new stuff.

I think we could remedy this by taking two major steps (in no particular order): the first would be a community effort at making a sort of playground pack like the original game's Fun levels (though we would, of course, need to be careful to make sure it doesn't become like the Tame levels in OhNo). This wouldn't be intended as a replacement for the Introduction Pack that IchoTolot has put so much effort into (I'd like to add that I believe it is a significant improvement over the old-formats introduction pack, which I get the impression was targeted at experienced vanilla Lemmix users); rather, it would be intended to be used alongside the introduction pack. Players would be able to experiment with the skills and objects in a relatively safe environment that gives them plenty of tools to work with. I seem to recall WillLem mentioned this concept helped him learn the new skills in the New Skills only challenge with the original game.

The second is to make more easy puzzle packs besides just the introduction pack. There is a lot of truth to this old joke I saw on here a while back:

Code: [Select]
Easier Levels <------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------> Harder Levels
                 Fun Tricky Taxing Mayhem                                                                                         Easy Custom Level

I think this might also account for some (probably not all) of the pushback to the NeoLemmix philosophy we've been seeing as of late: if you're not good at solving these "Easy Custom Levels" there really isn't much content out there for you. The execution focus on the original game left some room for relatively straightforward levels that required a little effort to pull off, and I don't think it feels all that good for new players to start up a pack, play through the first few levels, and then hit a wall with the puzzles. The problem isn't that we've removed the execution aspects, but that we haven't really done a great job of easing people into the sorts of harder puzzles that removing the execution focus has allowed us to create.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #188 on: April 14, 2020, 06:57:22 pm »
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My opinion on the whole parkour thing is - levels shouldn't be deriving their difficulty from finnicky execution of such parts. However, I don't see anything wrong with them simply being options to get a lemming places. The challenge simply needs to come from figuring out that route, not from executing it.

I guess this might be somewhere that NL and Lix differ a bit in philosophy - both agree that the puzzle, not the execution, should be the difficulty; but Lix's ideal philosophy (with some non-conforming elements retained due to tradition / existing content) seems to be "the puzzle is manipulating the terrain, the lixes are a tool for doing so", whereas NeoLemmix's is "the puzzle is manipulating the lemmings, altering the terrain is one thing that can be achieved via this". Obviously, both of these are oversimplifications, but I do get the feeling there's a slight divide along these lines.

Thanks for pointing out this minor difference between NeoLemmix and Lix philosophy, namida! ;) I wasn't aware of that!

Indeed, I'm completely on board with your stance as the creator of NeoLemmix: Parkour shouldn't be for execution difficulty (well, nothing in NeoLemmix should be, to be fair), and I haven't been using it this way. It's simply more rewarding somehow - I can't really put my finger on why - to have a pioneer bash out the crowd from the other side than from the same side. Different paths for different lemmings - and the more parkour-y the pioneer's path gets, the easier it is to enforce him taking a different route than the crowd.

Without much use of permanent skills, the only way to achieve this "different paths" scenario is by using different crowds of lemmings. Or teleporters. But they can technically also be considered parkour, because they can put lemmings in a bunch of different places which they could never reach on their own, not even with permanent skills.

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It would essentially allow the jetboarding lemming to gain a temporary platform which would then explode, leaving a bomber-shaped hole

Well, you've already seen my Harpooner suggestion which would do the same - constructive skill and destructive skill in one. ;) I have now opened a separate thread for that. It's officially no longer a joke suggestion, after all.

That said, I do prefer the "unaimed-Roper" option of that skill, i.e. a Spear Thrower with a rope attached to it. So if it came to that skill, I'd actually be one the same side as IchoTolot! :P

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Firstly, it's steeper. Simon's proposal is 2 pixels up for 1 across (compared to the fencer's 1 up for 2 across), but it could be even steeper than this. That makes it more akin to a reverse digger, paralleling the fencer being a reverse miner. Sometimes you need a way to get lemmings down from high above, or create a tunnel to get the worker lemming up.

Secondly, the laser blaster goes through air as well as terrain. It can reach places that are completely out of reach for a fencer or the proposed tunneller. One example is to make a dent in a wall, like making a bomber crater from a distance; it wouldn't be bomber shaped, but it would make a dent that would serve a similar purpose of allowing a climber to stop halfway up a wall. (It would also synergise well with the slider, which makes it more of a shame we can't have both.) Another example is to make a dent in a ceiling, to stop shimmiers in a desired location.

Good overview! ;) Making a dent into a vertical wall to stop a Climber would require a steel piece behind the target destination, though, because the Laser Blaster carries on until the beam reaches its maximum length, or until it hits steel. Without a steel piece, the diagonal Laser Blaster will simply create a diagonal tunnel that the Climber can climb into, and then he will walk up that tunnel like any other regular Walker would.



@Dullstar: Perfect observation once again! ;) I can pretty much agree with your entire post as-is. :thumbsup:
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Lemmings World Tour (New & Old Formats), my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
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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: [DISC][PLAYER] The final new skill
« Reply #189 on: April 15, 2020, 06:32:38 am »
As a very vague idea that might not lead anywhere - what about some kind of constructive skill where the created terrain is steel; or alternatively, a skill that turns a section of regular terrain into steel.
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