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What angle do you prefer?

45 degree angle (1:1 slope)
As steep as possible while still walker-friendly (6:1 slope)
Other

Author Topic: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laserer  (Read 2779 times)

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Offline namida

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #30 on: October 22, 2020, 07:39:26 pm »
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I'd support three different options, all of which would have different uses:
- a completely vertical Laser Blaster like in L2 (but this is represented by the red line, so as far as I understood namida, it's already ruled out)
- a 6:1 ratio, i.e. the maximum vertical gain at the shortest horizontal distance that is still Walker-friendly
- a 45 degree angle, i.e. a 1:1 ratio

Completely vertical is not going to happen. L2 has already proven it has limited uses, and at any rate, discussion alone has shown that an angled laser blaster has much more uses.

Vertical is included in the image for reference purposes only.

EDIT: Attached the image again to this post, since it's on a new page. Nothing has changed in it, it's just re-posted for convenience.

Offline Proxima

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #31 on: October 22, 2020, 09:09:21 pm »
So nothing in between (5:1, 4:1 etc.), since this would just unnecessarily flatten the angle of the tunnel and make it more similar to that of the Fencer, but not enough to make it usable for Shimmiers.

If you look at the diagram, the 6:1, 5:1 and 4:1 lines are very close together. Regardless of gradient I would still have a concern that it's yet another straight-line destructive skill, but the 5:1 and 4:1 suggestions aren't nearly as bad as 1:1 in terms of overlap with the fencer.

(Incidentally, an example of a 3:1 slope is the "cone" from the Fire tileset, if you want to look at it on some actual levels.)

I think either 3:1 or 4:1 would be the best choice -- steep but not too steep. Still, take that with a grain of salt, because laser blaster is and will remain my least favourite of the options still under consideration, no matter what gradient we choose.

Offline WillLem

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #32 on: October 23, 2020, 12:31:54 am »
How about having one skill that's deliberately not shimmier-friendly so it can break a ceiling at a chosen point and make a shimmier fall there?

Since the laser blaster is a ranged skill with (I'm guessing) an instant effect, as long as the ceiling is thin enough, even a shimmier-friendly tunnel could be used to stop a shimmier, provided that there is a gap between the ceiling/shimmy pipe and the top of the level.

Generally speaking though, laser blaster isn't exactly my favourite idea either. But, I can see the benefits of having another height-gaining skill which also has instant effect/other potential uses.

Offline Dullstar

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #33 on: October 23, 2020, 12:45:17 am »
I agree with Proxima that this would be a disappointing final skill.

I am not opposed to it when this is not taken into consideration, because as long as every individual skill can justify itself I have no issue with there being a lot of them, as long as it's not an L2 situation where they were basically throwing stuff at the wall. But if you say that the Laser Blaster would be the last skill we get, ever, full stop, then I must oppose the Laser Blaster. I know what kind of levels I like to create, and the Laser Blaster is too situational for my level design, due to its similarity to the Fencer, which I also don't use much. It's not the same as the fencer, but it's not different enough for me to be interested at the expense of the Slider.

I also reiterate that, due to the fact that there's a limit on how many skills can be in any given level anyway, I don't think it's important that the number of skills be a nice number like 20. 21 skills to implement the Slider and Laser Blaster, or 23 to implement all 4 candidates (Slider, Laser Blaster, projectile constructive/destructive) would be fine.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #34 on: October 25, 2020, 09:53:06 pm »
Something to keep in mind about the angled Laser Blaster, which has both upsides and downsides, I guess:

The L2 vertical Laser Blaster is the upward counterpart to the Digger, much like the Fencer is our upward counterpart to the Miner.
In L2, while the maximum non-splat fall height is increased compared to regular Lemmings, one potential danger about the vertical Laser Blaster is that you can create a lethal drop when you're just trying to blast the crowd out.
With Diggers, this can often be avoided because the entire crowd will gather in the Digger shaft and go down together with the Digger - with the Laser Blaster, however, this is not possible, and might be used for additional challenges.

A diagonal Laser Blaster always breaks the fall, at least as long as there is enough terrain. Of course, if the distance between the ceiling he blasts into and the ground the lemmings from above will land on is larger than splat height, the Laser Blaster can't do anything to change that. But he generally won't accidentally create splat height where there was none by removing too much terrain, resulting in too much of an uninterrupted vertical drop.

Even a non-Shimmier friendly Laser Blaster shaft that is very steep (e.g. 6:1 or even more) will have the lemmings passing through it from above repeatedly switching back and forth between Faller, Walker, Faller, Walker.

Thus, dropping through a Laser Blaster shaft that is in any way diagonal can never result in a lethal drop, whereas dropping through a Digger shaft can easily lead to this result.

Just something to keep in mind. I think this is yet another thing that would make a diagonal Laser Blaster more useful - but also more powerful, i.e. potentially broken. It also increases overlap with the Fencer a little more, since Miners and Fencers are usually the skills you'd prefer if you want to ensure a safe passage down by creating a slope, compared to a Digger. The Laser Blaster would thus join the list of "safe drop" skills, leaving only the Digger and (possibly) the Bomber as "high risk" methods of creating drops.



Quote from: Dullstar
But if you say that the Laser Blaster would be the last skill we get, ever, full stop, then I must oppose the Laser Blaster. I know what kind of levels I like to create, and the Laser Blaster is too situational for my level design, due to its similarity to the Fencer, which I also don't use much. It's not the same as the fencer, but it's not different enough for me to be interested at the expense of the Slider.

I understand where you're coming from, because Laser Blaster and Slider are my two clear favourites. ;) If we're considering two skills for projectiles (destructive and creative), I'd of course love to see the option of having the other two as a combination as well (Laser Blaster + Slider). But I think namida has already stated that the "2 for 1" deal can only work for projectiles specifically, because a lot of the coding would be the same (including the arc of the projectile's trajectory), and the only thing that would change are the sprites and the attribute "destructive" vs. "creative". Slider and Laser Blaster, in contrast, are two very different skills.

At least with the diagonal Laser Blaster, we don't have to worry about possible interactions between Laser Blaster and Slider that we are now going to miss out on. (In L2, for example, you could create a vertical shaft with the Laser Blaster, and then send a Slider down that shaft, since Sliders require perfectly straight walls, just like Climbers.)

A lot of my love for the Slider stems from its interactions with Shimmiers and Jumpers. Having been crowned the "King of Shimmiers" by Flopsy recently :D (with him historically being the "King of Blockers" ;) ), of course I favour anything that increases the potential of this particular skill, which I believe was the best addition to NeoLemmix in a long time.

Hence, if I had to choose between a vertical Laser Blaster and a Slider, even though I agree with IchoTolot that lasers just seem to have this natural "cool" factor to them that the child in all of us prefers, I would probably still prefer the Slider because of its greater interaction potential.

However, the idea of a 45°-angle Laser Blaster changes this, because such a Laser Blaster would indeed provide interactions with Shimmiers as well, just like the Slider. And not just any type of Shimmier interaction, but a very particular one that is hard to achieve otherwise:

Since a Shimmier can't perform any destructive skills (aside from bombing), the only way to carve a Shimmier tunnel into a ceiling to send a Shimmier into would indeed be from the distance, i.e. from the ground. Obviously, this is something that the Fencer can't do either, a) because it requires the fencing lemming to stand on solid ground, and b) because the resulting tunnel is too narrow (at least without additional support from a Basher going down the Fencer tunnel from above).

Thus, this particular proposal for the Laser Blaster poses some serious competition to the Slider in one of its main dimensions of appeal. Which makes the choice a lot harder. ???



I'm not saying I'm dropping my support for the Slider yet. But let's say if the Laser Blaster were to become the final skill instead of the Slider, I would at least not be unhappy about it.


While I have repeatedly argued against comparisons between the Slider and the Floater in the past, comparing the Slider more to a downward Climber instead, I will concede that, in direct comparison with the Laser Blaster, the Slider's behaviour indeed seems to be easier to emulate with our current NeoLemmix tools than the (angled) Laser Blaster's behaviour.

For example, a couple of levels I created for my L2-inspired pack "Lemmings Hall of Fame", which could use an actual Slider, of course, currently tries to approximate this behaviour by using one-way fields in combination with Floaters, anti-splat pads, or updrafts. This locks Slider usage into specific locations within the level, of course, and doesn't allow for any transitions from Jumper to Slider or Slider to Shimmier, but at least it's a start for breaking falls and turning the lemming around.

In contrast, I had to create a classic "send a pioneer ahead and laser-blast the crowd out from below" level, which is very typical of Lemmings 2: The Tribes, I wouldn't know how to do it. Possibly with a Bomber from below, but that's hard to enforce (why wouldn't you simply bomb from above? Bombers don't care about one-way arrows, after all). Or with a Fencer. The latter is something I tried to do on a level from Lemmings Open Air, but that level has been giving me one backroute after another. So that isn't easy to enforce either. ;)
My packs so far:
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Offline namida

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #35 on: October 25, 2020, 10:51:50 pm »
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In contrast, I had to create a classic "send a pioneer ahead and laser-blast the crowd out from below" level, which is very typical of Lemmings 2: The Tribes, I wouldn't know how to do it.

I'd ask what it directly adds. If it's a case of "use a very obviously-placed laser blaster", this is no harder than "use a very obviously-placed digger" (once splats are dealt with, but you can make those a concern with a digger too). Simply being able to make "use laser blaster at the end" worker lemming levels would not be enough reason to go with the laser blaster over the other skills.

I am far more interested in this idea of the 1:1 laser blaster + shimmier interaction, though...

Offline Dullstar

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #36 on: October 26, 2020, 03:36:03 am »
Now that, according to namida's latest post in the final new skill topic, it sounds like the remaining contenders no longer need to compete with each other for inclusion. Thus, I feel I can now explore this Laser Blaster idea in more detail than simply "I think the Slider is a better idea."

I am also interested in the 45 degree angle suggestion due to the shimmier interaction potential. You could use it either to move a shimmier above terrain, or you could use it to stop a shimmier, depending on which direction you're facing. The Laser Blaster should, of course, be affected by one-way left/right arrows as well as stopped by one-way down.

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #37 on: October 26, 2020, 08:19:16 am »
Experimental laser blaster suggestion time! :)

I will propose some stats for the blaster here that could maybe be used for the experimental.

Angle: 45 degree to test the shimmier combination possibilities and see if it's steep enough.

Width: Wide enough for a shimmier as a result.

Starting point: I propose the hole starts 6 pixels above the feet of the laser blasting lemming. This way a single builder could be used to block the hole and it still would be accessible with any additional skills. Again thinking about easy combination methods.

Range: Hear me out here, it should be huge! :8(): Reason is that the range is a big selling factor and it should be able to go through a few terrain layers. If you want to stop it early a level designer can still put a steel layer in the way. Also, it would provide a reason not to use it over a fecer in certain cases! Just put a terrain layer above the possible activation point that a player can't allow to be riddled with holes as he needs to traverse it later.
For a 45 degree angle we gain 1 pixel of height for every horizontal pixel. Let's messure with 16x16 blocks. I would propose that the blaster should at least go through 8 of those if they are put diagonally in front of the blaster. Let's do the math: 8x16=128. Let's round it up to 130 for now.
Again, this seems very large, but the skill shines more on vertical levels. Also it is often not a big deal when it's too large, but it's a deal when it constantly falls short. As I stated above you can always stop it with steel or place vital level areas above it that should not be destroyed.

Steel behavior: This is a bit tricky. I wouldn't propose it to be overly sensitive and cancel if the outer edges barely hits steel. I would still offer like 1-2 pixel steel margin at the blast's edges, but not much more. I would also argue that these 1-2 error margin pixels at the edge can get cut off by steel --> the blast will become narrower when barely hitting steel as that part of the blast is blocked then. As a result, cleverly placed steel can affect the hole you are blasting out and make it slightly narrower. When a non edge area hits steel it immediately stops of course.

Speed: Maybe around 1 16x16 block per second or so.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2020, 08:29:18 am by IchoTolot »

Online kaywhyn

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #38 on: October 26, 2020, 08:26:10 am »

Let's do the math: 8x16=126. Let's round it up to 130 for now.

You might want to recheck your calculation. If I'm not mistaken, 8 x 16 = 128. End result with rounding is still the same, rounds up to 130. Sorry, math teacher in me couldn't resist :P

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #39 on: October 26, 2020, 08:29:51 am »
You are totally correct and I should not do math right after I woke up. :XD:

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #40 on: October 26, 2020, 12:29:25 pm »
I very much appreciate IchoTolot's suggestions for the skill behaviour! :thumbsup:

Especially with regards to the interaction with steel. I think what he has proposed is most consistent with what we are used to from the Digger: That skill is also only cancelled when pretty much the entire path of the skill shadow is blocked by steel. A mechanic that is also frequently used to break falls within Digger shafts (the Digger removes terrain above, next to, and below the steel, so that the steel block remains as a "step" the lemmings can land on in between). So for a vertical Laser Blaster, this definitely would have been the way to go.

With the diagonal Laser Blaster, it will be somewhere in between traditional Digger and traditional Miner behaviour: Miners can also pass by steel in such a way where they only remove terrain under the piece of steel, even though technically, the pickaxe seems to be moving "through" the steel without damaging it.

I like the idea of the blast being partially blocked - this is different from both Digger and Miner behaviour though, because those tunnels don't become smaller beyond the piece of steel. I'm also not sure how easy this is to code, because there would have to be a gradient of width for the laser blast: Anything between the standard width of the blast and a width of just 1 pixel would be possible this way.
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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: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #41 on: October 26, 2020, 06:30:10 pm »
I had actually been thinking that same thing with regards to steel and so have already been giving consideration to how to implement it. I'm pretty sure it's feasible.

Regarding range and timing - I had actually been imagining the extreme scenario on both. Infinite range, outright instant effect (at least as far as destruction goes; there would be a few frames' delay before the destruction, to show the lemming "firing up" the laser). It's a laser, after all. But with that being said I'm certianly open to other ideas.

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #42 on: October 26, 2020, 07:02:02 pm »
Infinite range I think would be too extreme. Especially on very large levels. I am still for a max range, but I would propose a very large one nevertheless.

Offline namida

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #43 on: October 26, 2020, 07:12:14 pm »
A further thought that came to me is that if the laser-blaster does get infinite range, this would effectively be ruling out wrap from ever happening, or at least, ruling out a single level wrapping in both directions (as in such a level, a laser blaster would never end unless it hits steel / a wrong-way OWW). So yeah, perhaps a range limit is a good idea just in case.

I do still very much like the idea of the entire laser being instant, though.

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Re: [Discussion][Player] New skill: Laser Blaster (Potential)
« Reply #44 on: October 26, 2020, 07:20:42 pm »
Pardon me if this was already discussed and I missed it, but was it ever mentioned that the laser blaster should stop after a certain amount of time, eg, after 5 seconds?