Poll

What's your thoughts on the new arc (green in reply #26, also shown in reply #27)?

It's good
I could accept it but would prefer something else
I don't like it at all

Author Topic: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)  (Read 1519 times)

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Online namida

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Creating a single topic to keep discussion in one place, since it's been a bit back-and-forwards between the two topics so far, and these skills have more in common than they do different. I might reopen the individual topics later for discussion of the unique aspects of each, but for now, the shared one is more suitable.

For reference, here are the previous topics:
- Destructive skill
- Constructive skill

Some quick notes:
- Neither skill is guaranteed to make it into a stable release, though both will at least get an experimental build, likely a single combined one for both skills.
- Skill names / graphics are not up for discussion FOR NOW. I'll come back to those points if/when the skills are confirmed; for now, the focus is physics / potential.
- Both skills will have the same arc, but what that arc is is up for discussion.
- Exact size of spear / destructive range of grenade is up for discussion.
- Lemming will transition to shrugger after throwing, rather than immediately reverting to walker.
- Skill shadows (likely not to be implemented until RC) will show both the arc and the construction / destruction.

Preview video (2020/10/28), shows the skills mostly working but with no effect (aside from disappearing) on impact: https://youtu.be/T4oAxkb7vxY (EDIT: More recent video in first reply)
« Last Edit: November 03, 2020, 07:58:06 pm by namida »

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And a video with much more progress, now: https://youtu.be/-yyyjzB86Kw

Offline IchoTolot

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Would also toss the skill name "grenadier" in the ring instead of "granader". ;)

Offline Strato Incendus

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Wow, this looks like a lot of progress already, namida! :thumbsup:

I guess these two skills are the easiest one to implement? Pretty much the only things missing are the skil shadow and recolouring of the spear.

I voted for "release experimental builds as soon as they are ready" on the poll; this may end up "backfiring" in my face if the Projectiles (which I favour less than Laser Blaster and Slider) end up becoming more popular simply because they get more exposure. :evil: But of course, I still want to give them a fair chance, and if the different RCs come out whenever they are ready, that gives everyone more time to test the candidates successively, spending more time on each of them than if we were "overwhelmed" by four different RCs at once.



I'm fine with the sprite on the skill panel being a modified version of the Basher in both cases; you'd probably just want to make the projectile stick out a little more on the skill panel sprite, especially for the Grenadier (which yes, I agree with IchoTolot, sounds more natural than "Grenader").

Personally, I would advocate for going with established skill names from Lemmings 2: The Tribes wherever possible. Meaning: Spear Thrower instead of Spearer (the latter sounds weird anyway). The Grenadier could be a new skill indeed if the projectile has too little resemblance with the Mortar or Bazooker. I think one argument for this is that both the Mortar and Bazooker would require a "shooting device", whereas the Grenadier just throws the projectile with his bare hand. Then again, sprites for the Mortar and Bazooker might be possible to rip from Lemmings 2? So then, the "shooting device" would already exist and wouldn't have to be sprited by hand. I'm not sure though, and I'm fine with the "bare-hands" solution, too.

In either case, whether its a Bazooka or a Grenade, I can already see that the main thing I would be doing with these skills is Lemmings going Worms. :evil: I already made some levels inspired by Worms levels ("Doo Wop" and "Staircase to Armageddon" from Paralems), and in fact, the name "Lemmings World Tour" was partly inspired by the game those earlier two levels were taken from: Worms World Party. Now obviously, neither the Grenade nor the Spear can kill Zombies by itself, but if you remove enough terrain under a crowd of Zombies or lock them in between Spears, the outcome will be similar.

Of course, that is not exactly a type of game style we would call "puzzle solving". ;) And that's why I personally don't see a lot of puzzle potential in these two skills.
I agree with IchoTolot that the arc would have to be steeper in order for the skills to be more useful:

- The Spear could be thrown higher up into walls to break a fall from above or stop a Climber from below
- The Grenade could be thrown against ceilings to stop Shimmiers, as IchoTolot said, or again into walls to make them irregular, which can also break falls from above or stop Climbers from below, as well as providing a niche for Climbers to climb into, from where they can start doing other things. (In regular Lemmings, this is usually solved by sending another Climber ahead and bombing him.)

Especially the idea of building bridges by connecting several spears, which was brought up as an argument for the skill earlier, seems very utopian currently. Obviously, skill shadows will make this easier. But especially for the Spear Thrower, the skill shadow would not only have to show the arc of movement, but also the tilt the Spear would be going to have upon landing. The orientation of the spear changes rapidly as it's traveling along its arc.

It's hard anough to chain several Archers together to form a bridge in Lemmings 2, and that skill has the added upside of allowing you to target it; since the Archer has been ruled out long ago, doing this with a Spear Thrower is going to be even harder, unless the skill shadow also predicts the orientation of the Spear itself in its final landing position.
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Offline IchoTolot

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Especially the idea of building bridges by connecting several spears, which was brought up as an argument for the skill earlier, seems very utopian currently. Obviously, skill shadows will make this easier. But especially for the Spear Thrower, the skill shadow would not only have to show the arc of movement, but also the tilt the Spear would be going to have upon landing. The orientation of the spear changes rapidly as it's traveling along its arc.

That's why I suggested the shrugger. While the lem is shrugging assign the spear/grenade again and it will have the exact same arc.

Quote
voted for "release experimental builds as soon as they are ready" on the poll; this may end up "backfiring" in my face if the Projectiles (which I favour less than Laser Blaster and Slider) end up becoming more popular simply because they get more exposure.

I think you overestimate the exposure and popularity factor here. The goal is to explore unique use cases and usability and not simply go by which skill gets the most levels made in terms of quantity or which topic gets the most comments. Also: I think I will spend quite a lot of time with the slider actually. ;)

As namida also can only code 1 thing at a time, voting for "release experimental builds as soon as they are ready" will automatically lead to there being a first and last skill anyway.

Offline Strato Incendus

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That's why I suggested the shrugger. While the lem is shrugging assign the spear/grenade again and it will have the exact same arc.

Yes, the exact same arc, but by the same token, almost certainly not the same tilt of the Spear. ;) After all, in the position where the first Spear landed, now there already is one. So even if the second projectile takes the exact same path, it will land earlier, that is, at the end of the first Spear, and will therefore have a different tilt / rotation. This is important because whether it points more up or down will decide whether lemmings can walk up the connected bridge of spears, or whether the connected path is high enough to access some upper layer of the level, etc.

That's why I think that, just like the Builder skill shadow contains an image of the staircase how it will look in its final form, the skill shadow for the Spear Thrower would have to include both the arc of the trajectory (like for the Jumper or Glider) AND the shape of the terrain that is going to be left behind once skill execution has been completed.
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Offline IchoTolot

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Yes, the exact same arc, but by the same token, almost certainly not the same tilt of the Spear.

Fair enough.

I have 2 proposals to address this:

1.) 2 skill shadows. The arc itself and in another color where the spear/grenade will end up.

2.) 1 skill show. Only the end location/effect of the spear/granade will be displayed.


I would prefer 1.) as the arc contains valuavble information as well.

Offline Strato Incendus

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I would definitely also prefer 1). After all, with the Jumper we wouldn't have been content either with just knowing the lemming's landing position. ;)
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Online namida

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Skill shadows for these will show both the arc and the destruction / construction. However, skill shadows won't be implemented until later; probably not until an RC build.

(As a reminder on "experimental" vs "RC": Experimental builds are used to evaluate and/or bugtest a specific feature, such as in this case, new skills. RC builds are essentially pre-release builds, that will be fairly close to the corresponding stable version.)

Quote
spending more time on each of them than if we were "overwhelmed" by four different RCs at once.

It'll be three - Grenader and Spearer are expected to be a single shared experimental.

Quote
I guess these two skills are the easiest one to implement? Pretty much the only things missing are the skil shadow and recolouring of the spear.

Slider is likely to be the easiest to implement, but this one was the most fun to implement. Also, the newer video has the spear recoloring. :) Slider is likely to be the next one I do, because while there are still details under discussion for it, they're generally of the kind that's easy to change later; whereas the Laser-Blaster could get messy if I tried to implement it until we've got at least a bit more of an idea of what it might end up looking like. I'll stress that none of this is commentary on how fun or useful I expect the skills themself to be, only on how I expect the task of implementing them to be.


Also as mentioned, names, graphics, the arc, etc are not final. Basically, the only detail that should really be considered final at this stage is "both skills, if both make it in, will have the same arc as each other".
« Last Edit: October 28, 2020, 06:01:30 pm by namida »

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I don't think I can evaluate this skill fairly without a skill shadow for at least the arc.

Offline Strato Incendus

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I'd agree with Dullstar here; I don't know how much effort it is to program this in advance?

Skill shadows are definitely going to be more important for projectiles than for the Laser Blaster (although the range factor is present with the Laser Blaster as well, a straight diagonal line is easier to extrapolate in your mind than an arc). The Slider of course won't require a skill shadow - at least neither the Climber not the Floater have one, and they're the two ones for moving up and down in a straight line. Unless there is a specific case I currently can't think of, I don't think the Slider needs a skill shadow.
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Online namida

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Unless there is a specific case I currently can't think of, I don't think the Slider needs a skill shadow.

Correct as far as I can tell, and keep in mind that the projection shadow feature could be used with the Slider just like it can with any other skill, too.

Fair point that a shadow might be necessary for the arc. I'll see about putting one in.

Online namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2020, 08:39:57 pm »
Arc shadow implemented. No shadow for the spear / grenade impact yet - that isn't as critical to evaluating the skill, so will likely only come if / when the skills are confirmed.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2020, 02:34:03 am »
And a video with much more progress, now: https://youtu.be/-yyyjzB86Kw

Haha! These are brilliant :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

I particularly like the fact that the spear can end up in different positions depending on whereabout it is in its arc when it lands; that's a nice touch, and makes it an even more unique skill.

The grenade holes are massive, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but it may be preferable if it could be a bit more precise; this could be achieved either by choosing a different destructive projectile or by simply giving the grenades a smaller blast radius. Just a thought 8-)

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2020, 04:45:10 am »
Put up a poll regarding trajectory, focusing on what seem to be the most interesting options. Of course, the "Other" option is there in case I'm reading it wrong.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2020, 04:47:46 am »
Voted for "Other". I'm not sure how the above screenshot compares to the earlier mock-up with the arrows, but seeing it on an actual level, I feel that the arc is too wide and should be tightened up.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2020, 05:20:38 am »
Voted for "Other". I'm not sure how the above screenshot compares to the earlier mock-up with the arrows, but seeing it on an actual level, I feel that the arc is too wide and should be tightened up.

What about height-wise? Keep it the same (while reducing the width), or...?

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2020, 06:56:56 pm »
This is tricky - because it's very much dependent on whether we end up getting the Laser Blaster or not ;) :

If we don't get the Laser Blaster (even though I consider that unlikely), we have no way of modifying the ceiling for Shimmiers. So if the Projectiles should fill that gap, the arc would probably have to be steeper than it is right now.

On the other hand, if we do get the Laser Blaster, then I think a more horizontal arc, as it is now, would provide more incremental use for the projectiles:
The Laser Blaster is a skill with vertical range (well, of course, if it's a 45 degree angle, it's just as much horizontal as vertical range).
The Projectiles, as they are now, offer more horizontal range.
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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #18 on: November 04, 2020, 07:32:43 pm »
I disagree that the arc should be tighter; it's pretty much spot on in that video. Height-wise is fine too.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #19 on: November 04, 2020, 08:28:17 pm »
As it it right now the arc desperately needs a little bit more height in my opinion. I would suggest around 50% more height.

Right now it has near to no chance at all hitting any terrain piece above the lemming and I think having the possibility would greatly benefit the skill + give level designers an easier way to check it by putting a lower ceiling in its way.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2020, 03:13:33 am »
The current width is fine.

I don't have a preference on keeping the height as is or making it taller.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #21 on: November 07, 2020, 05:57:15 am »
How's this look?

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #22 on: November 07, 2020, 08:43:04 am »
Looks fine by me! :thumbsup:

The long horizontal range is definitely useful for the spear. I generally think constructive skills will be more effective in the horizontal dimension; with the destructive ones, i.e. the grenade, I'm a little more fixated on the vertical dimension (like bombing from below, denting a ceiling for a Shimmier etc.).

Thus, the Grenadier with the current arc will still only work on comparatively low ceilings, but it's high enough that I think we could design level terrain specifically made for this (without that terrain shape giving away too much about where to assign which skill).

I generally don't see that much use for throwing a spear against the ceiling, HOWEVER there is one big Shimmier-related one, the counterpart to the "Grenadier hole dents the ceiling to stop the Shimmier":

If the spear lands in the ceiling diagonally, forming a little ramp, the Shimmier can land on it and start fencing or maybe even bashing from there. Especially the Fencer at this point would be useful, because it allows to precisely what we would currently need the Laser Blaster for: A way to carve a path into a ceiling for a Shimmier to continue.

In this case, the Shimmier could carve that path himself, whereas in case of the Laser Blaster, you'd need a different lemming to do it. Of course, in the former case, three different skills are needed (Shimmier, Spear Thrower, Fencer), whereas in the latter, you only need two (Shimmier + Laser Blaster).

Thus, I don't think this type of Spear Thrower usage would make the Laser Blaster superfluous. I'm just saying it would be a way to work around this if, for some reason, we would end up not getting the Laser Blaster. (Which I don't think at this point, since it seems to be the most popular skill at this point.)
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Offline IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #23 on: November 07, 2020, 08:47:23 am »
That's way better from my point of view! :thumbsup:

This way you can also achive steeper angles of the ground to use the spear as height gain more effectively.

I would maybe even add 16 pixels of height on top of that, but this is already good and my suggestion here could already be too much. :)

If it's not too much work: Could we get a comparison picture of the old arc, this arc and one with an additional 16 pixels of height. I think then we can better see which one looks best as just talking is not that effective here in my opinion.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #24 on: November 07, 2020, 11:23:26 am »
My suggestion: compared to the second screenshot, the height gain is about right, and the horizontal range should shrink to roughly 3/4 of what it currently is.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #25 on: November 07, 2020, 11:36:00 am »
My suggestion: compared to the second screenshot, the height gain is about right, and the horizontal range should shrink to roughly 3/4 of what it currently is.

I think that would make the skill worse. The horizontal range is one of the selling points and I think diminishing it would not be good as it then struggles to get across medium sized gaps.

I would rather make the range too big than too small here.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #26 on: November 07, 2020, 04:59:38 pm »
Quote
If it's not too much work: Could we get a comparison picture of the old arc, this arc and one with an additional 16 pixels of height. I think then we can better see which one looks best as just talking is not that effective here in my opinion.

I'll get back to you later re the 16 pixel higher one, but for now, here's a comparison image for the old and new arcs.

White line is for reference.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #27 on: November 07, 2020, 05:37:03 pm »
Some screenshots in familiar levels. This is the taller arc (ie: the green one in the above pic).

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #28 on: November 07, 2020, 05:55:09 pm »
That already looks good.  You are able to hit normal ceilings, but also throw quite a distance. :thumbsup:

Maybe my "even taller" idea is taking it too far after all. The green arc from before seems quite good. :)

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #29 on: November 08, 2020, 12:39:56 am »
+1 for the green arc :thumbsup:!
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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #30 on: November 08, 2020, 12:55:24 am »
+1 for green height, but red length is better. Strongly in favour of longer horizontal range, in general.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #31 on: November 08, 2020, 01:06:32 am »
+1 for green height, but red length is better. Strongly in favour of longer horizontal range, in general.

When used on a flat surface, the horizontal range is unchanged - see the reference line. It's a natural consequence of the steeper curve, that once it gets past the point of "back to the height it started at", it doesn't cover as much ground - simply because of the faster downwards movement.

If you were to make it "same horizontal range for that exact setup shown in that screenshot", this in turn means it now has more horizontal range than the red curve did if the shot doesn't end up falling as low - and that beyond that point, it'll still have less range, just not by as much.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #32 on: November 09, 2020, 03:15:08 am »
When used on a flat surface, the horizontal range is unchanged - see the reference line. It's a natural consequence of the steeper curve, that once it gets past the point of "back to the height it started at", it doesn't cover as much ground - simply because of the faster downwards movement.

If you were to make it "same horizontal range for that exact setup shown in that screenshot", this in turn means it now has more horizontal range than the red curve did if the shot doesn't end up falling as low - and that beyond that point, it'll still have less range, just not by as much.

I'm not sure I understand. A curve of any height can be stretched horizontally without changing its height...? Or, are you referring to the specifics of the way that this skill works?

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #33 on: November 09, 2020, 06:05:49 am »
It's not anywhere close to impossible, to stretch the curve horizontally.

However, using the red curve as a point of reference isn't so simple, because the increased gradient of the green curve (which gives it the extra height) in turn has implications on the horizontal range, which are not as simple as just "longer" or "shorter".

If we were to look at these two curves on a flat surface they'd have almost the same horizontal range - a pixel or two different, due to that the projectile starts at (roughly) the lemming's head height, not at ground height. Above this, the green curve has more range, below this, the red curve does.

See the new attached image. It now has three white lines - the highest one is 16px above the projectile's starting height, the middle one is at the projectile's starting height, the bottom one is 16px below the projectile's starting height. Note that which one has more horizontal range, is different at each line - the green curve does on the top line, the red curve does on the bottom line, and they're equal on the middle one (which is what I actually used as a reference for the new curve - kept the same "at starting height" horizontal range, while making the peak higher).

I'm not the best at explaining this; if it's not clear, hopefully someone a bit more maths-y can do a better job of it.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #34 on: November 09, 2020, 10:51:15 am »
Looking at the skill panel again: Can the grenade maybe get a different colour, just like the spear?

The Spearer is easy enough to distinguish from the Basher thanks to that colour difference, but the Grenadier can be mistaken for a Basher with two heads. :D

In general: Would the grenade be expected to change colours depending on the tileset, just like bricks (Builder / Platformer / Stacker) and the Spear? ;)
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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #35 on: November 09, 2020, 10:12:07 pm »
the increased gradient of the green curve (which gives it the extra height) in turn has implications on the horizontal range, which are not as simple as just "longer" or "shorter"

I understand now. Even if you were to stretch the green curve to where the red curve meets the ground, they would continue from there in the same manner as where they intersect on the middle line in your example, i.e. the red curve has a more shallow diminuendo and so continues further horizontally, and the green curve has a steeper diminuendo and continues further vertically (that is, from the "meeting point", in each case).

I tried it in Paint and it doesn't matter how far along the lines meet, the result is always the same. That being the case, I'd vote for somewhere between the green and the red curve, so that there's a better balance of height vs distance.

EDIT: Looking at the results of the poll, it doesn't look like it makes any difference anyway :crylaugh:

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #36 on: November 10, 2020, 12:11:41 am »
Quote
Looking at the skill panel again: Can the grenade maybe get a different colour, just like the spear?

Absolutely open to graphics tweaks, but (unless needed to avoid the graphics and physics being "out of sync" with each other) they won't happen until after the skills are confirmed. Again - it's only really physics that are up for discussion at the moment.

Quote
In general: Would the grenade be expected to change colours depending on the tileset, just like bricks (Builder / Platformer / Stacker) and the Spear? ;)

Current graphic no, in general it's definitely something that could be considered.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #37 on: November 10, 2020, 08:22:23 am »
Quote
I tried it in Paint and it doesn't matter how far along the lines meet, the result is always the same. That being the case, I'd vote for somewhere between the green and the red curve, so that there's a better balance of height vs distance.

How about keeping the height of green, but buffing the horizontal range by an additional 16 pixels? ???

I think the height is important for the skill and therefore rather than cutting height for range why not simply incresing the range a bit. We don't have to sacrifice one for the other here! ;)

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #38 on: November 10, 2020, 11:00:27 am »
Sorry to keep harping on this, but greater range is not necessarily better. Increasing the range increases the number of places you can stand from to hit point X, which increases the complexity of any level where it's not obvious how to get to a good throwing point. There's also the aesthetic consideration: increase the range, and you force the designer to provide open space for the skill to be useful (like the Pole Vaulter in L2, but... not quite that bad :P )

I still feel, mostly on instinct, that the green arc is too wide and it would be better to rein it in a little.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #39 on: November 10, 2020, 06:27:30 pm »
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How about keeping the height of green, but buffing the horizontal range by an additional 16 pixels?

Do you mean 16px on a flat surface, or...?

Sorry to keep harping on this, but greater range is not necessarily better. Increasing the range increases the number of places you can stand from to hit point X, which increases the complexity of any level where it's not obvious how to get to a good throwing point. There's also the aesthetic consideration: increase the range, and you force the designer to provide open space for the skill to be useful (like the Pole Vaulter in L2, but... not quite that bad :P )

I definitely can see your point about how it could become too complex; it's a concern I have been keeping in mind. It's more of a strike against the Spearer in particular, where the distance travelled can also affect the angle of the created terrain (whereas the grenader has the same area of effect no matter what angle it hits terrain at).

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #40 on: November 10, 2020, 06:30:12 pm »
Quote
How about keeping the height of green, but buffing the horizontal range by an additional 16 pixels?

Do you mean 16px on a flat surface, or...?

Yes.

Although Proxima's concern is something we should keep in mind, as making the arc too huge could have a negative impact. I don't think it's a problem yet though.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #41 on: November 11, 2020, 12:09:35 am »
Maybe the grenadier shouldn't throw grenades, but should instead throw balls of explosive light! Grenades are a little bit too close to a certain turn-based artillery strategy game I could mention... ;P

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #42 on: November 11, 2020, 07:06:20 am »
Maybe the grenadier shouldn't throw grenades, but should instead throw balls of explosive light! Grenades are a little bit too close to a certain turn-based artillery strategy game I could mention... ;P

I was thinking of having them throw exploding sheep, but it's hard to animate that at an acceptable size.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #43 on: November 11, 2020, 09:18:34 am »
Maybe the grenadier shouldn't throw grenades, but should instead throw balls of explosive light! Grenades are a little bit too close to a certain turn-based artillery strategy game I could mention... ;P

Well, Lemmings already threw grenades in Lemmings 3.

Also, I think throwing normal grenades isn't really something a game could claim exclusivity on. A HOLY grenade would be a different story. ;)

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #44 on: November 11, 2020, 09:33:04 pm »
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I was thinking of having them throw exploding sheep, but it's hard to animate that at an acceptable size.

How about a banana? :evil:

Quote
Also, I think throwing normal grenades isn't really something a game could claim exclusivity on.

As is shooting a Bazooka, like in Lemmings 2. ;) Both Bazookas and Grenades exist in Worms, and both are staples of that game.

But I've already said previously that I'm going to make a bunch of more Worms levels with these skills anyway, if they make it into a stable version :P .
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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #45 on: November 12, 2020, 01:41:12 am »
I was thinking of having them throw exploding sheep, but it's hard to animate that at an acceptable size.

A HOLY grenade would be a different story. ;)

How about a banana? :evil:

All excellent ideas :crylaugh:

Seriously though, maybe we could come up with something totally new that's unique to NeoLemmix and hasn't been seen in either Worms or earlier versions of Lemmings...

COOKIES!


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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #46 on: November 12, 2020, 01:48:45 am »
On a more serious note, from the videos so far, how do people feel about:

a) the horizontal speed of the projectiles? For reference this is a constant 7 pixels per frame currently; it does not increase and/or decrease at any point throughout the arc. (Please consider this separately from range. The two can be adjusted independently, with no side effects on each other.)
b) the duration of time it takes for the lemming to actually release the projectile from his hand, after being assigned the skill? From memory I believe it's currently 4 frames but could be wrong and cannot be bothered checking right now.

I'll probably do polls at a later point for both, but for now, any comments?

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #47 on: November 12, 2020, 01:36:06 pm »
An even number for the pure "hand-motion" time (like the current 4 pixels) seems fine by me.

Regarding the movement of the projectile, 7 pixels per frame seems quite fast, but then again, I hope nobody plans to use pixel precision with these throwing skills. (Although the Spearer might lend itself more to that than the Grenadier, because the created piece of terrain is smaller than the large crater the grenade causes).

Quote
Seriously though, maybe we could come up with something totally new that's unique to NeoLemmix and hasn't been seen in either Worms or earlier versions of Lemmings...

COOKIES!

If we want to stick with explosive foods and go with one that hasn't been used before, there is a clear candidate that overshadows all the rest:

The pomegranate (in German it's literally called a "grenade apple" :evil: ).

I still don't understand to this day how Team17, the Worms developers, were quicker to come up with a banana bomb than with a pomegranate.
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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #48 on: November 12, 2020, 09:20:16 pm »
I think just the look of the grenade is fine, and people are getting too off topic with it IMHO

I'm fine with the speed of 7 pixels per frame, what matters at the end of the day is the usability and the puzzles that can be made with said skills.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #49 on: November 12, 2020, 09:25:11 pm »
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I think just the look of the grenade is fine, and people are getting too off topic with it IMHO

Most of those posts were not very serious. We were just making jokes about similarities to Worms. As I've said, serious discussion about appearances will come later.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #50 on: November 12, 2020, 09:26:03 pm »
The speed seems fine to me so far.

I think the testing phase could maybe give more insight about if we need to accelarate it or slow it down.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #51 on: November 13, 2020, 02:44:06 am »
For reference:

Horizontal speeds:
L2 bazooker: 8 pixels/frame
L2 mortar: starts at about 5 pixels/frame (thanks to background objects obstructing visibility, this is measured from very close to the start, but not QUITE there, so I can't promise the first three or so frames don't go faster); eventually slows to what appears to be 1 pixel/frame - I didn't bother measuring this because I assume we're not considering this behavior
L2 spearer: 6 pixels/frame

I'd be willing to measure the archer as well, but it is dependent on the angle, so I'd need to know what angle you want me to try.



Personally, I think the grenadier animation looks a little choppy (to be fair, the bazooker in L2 looks pretty choppy, too, which makes sense considering it travels an extra pixel/frame).

My suggestion would be to go with 5 pixels/frame, which I think should hopefully be a better balance between not being too choppy and also not being too slow. I would suggest against going any faster than the L2 spearer, at 6 pixels/frame.

As far as visuals on the destructive skill, I'd suggest going ahead and using the L2 bazooker for three main reasons: first, anyone who's played L2 should understand exactly what the skill is going to do; second, it will be more distinct from other skill icons that way; and third, we can use the L2 graphics if we want (did we do this for Shimmiers and Jumpers, or did we draw new ones?)

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #52 on: November 13, 2020, 03:15:10 am »
I have no idea about the Shimmier (almost 100% of the Shimmier implementation, graphics included, was handled by Nepster), but the L2 graphic was indeed used for the Jumper at least at some point - I don't recall if it was the final graphic or not.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #53 on: November 13, 2020, 05:31:20 am »
I think just the look of the grenade is fine, and people are getting too off topic with it IMHO

Not at all. Comments about the graphics/aesthetics of the skill are perfectly valid (although I do acknowledge that namida has said physics is the main focus at this stage, so I'll keep it relevant going forward). The jokey tone of some of the comments is mainly to keep the conversation light and fun, and wasn't meant to be a distraction.

what matters at the end of the day is the usability and the puzzles that can be made with said skills.

Absolutely, but as I've said looks do matter as well when it's a visual, interactive game. It surprises me that you're taking this stance, in particular, because some of your graphical contributions to NeoLemmix are fantastic (the Jade style, in particular, is lush!)

My two cents on the skill speed is that it's fine as it is, but I agree with Dullstar that the animation is a little bit choppy. If frames can be added without slowing the skill down too much, this might be the way to go.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #54 on: November 13, 2020, 06:54:47 am »
Changing physics, or even graphics, to allow for "half-frame" updates, would be an extremely massive change that would not be worth it just to improve the visuals of one or two skills. Making the graphic larger might mitigate the choppy appearance a bit, not sure, though this also might look weird when the lemming throws it.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #55 on: November 13, 2020, 01:19:34 pm »
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As far as visuals on the destructive skill, I'd suggest going ahead and using the L2 bazooker for three main reasons: first, anyone who's played L2 should understand exactly what the skill is going to do; second, it will be more distinct from other skill icons that way; and third, we can use the L2 graphics if we want (did we do this for Shimmiers and Jumpers, or did we draw new ones?)

I'd be fine with that! :thumbsup: I guess we should simply call it "Bazooker" in that case, though?

"Grenader" is not an existing skill anywhere, plus there's the confusion with "Grenader" and "Grenadier". Granted, "Bazooka" (the weapon) vs. "Bazooker" (the guy firing it) is a similar source of confusion. But at least there's the precident of it being called "Bazooker" in Lemmings 2, and that name shouldn't be too long for the panel, in contrast to "Laser Blaster".

The main difference between a Bazooker and a Grenadier would obviously be that the Bazooker requires a "shooting device", instead of just throwing the explosive projectile.
This could be the same as for the Laser Blaster in a pinch, just pointing into a different direction (but slightly diagonally upward would make sense, given the parabolic arc of the projectile).

However, if you suggest using the original Lemmings 2 animation anyway, then the "shooting device" is already part of that animation anyway - and it would actually be more effort to remove it, to turn the L2 Bazooker animation into a (throwing) Grenadier, than just leaving the animation as it is and renaming the Grenadier to "Bazooker".

Of course, given the parabolic arc, "Mortar" would still be a possible name as well:
The Bazooker in L2 flies mainly horizontally.
The Mortar in L2 has a steeper curve, as far as I recall, than the current Grenadier. However, both would have more in common than the Grenadier and the Bazooker, because the Mortar is more widely applicable: You can dent ceilings with it, you can shoot horizontally, and you can even blast through the ground like a regular walking Bomber, but at a distance. (In fact, I remember one particular L2 level where you have to use several Mortars in rapid succession to blast a shaft into the ground on the other side of a water pond).
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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #56 on: November 13, 2020, 02:20:06 pm »
I'd be fine with the Mortar as well if we feel it's a better fit for the arc.

Regarding the choppiness I brought up earlier, I'd agree that the half frame solution would be weird (although I'm not sure if that's really what WillLem meant by adding frames). That's why I suggested the lower projectile speed - it won't look as choppy if it's not traveling as far per frame, so my suggestion is basically to go with the slowest speed we can get away with before the animation feels sluggish instead.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #57 on: November 13, 2020, 07:37:18 pm »
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The main difference between a Bazooker and a Grenadier would obviously be that the Bazooker requires a "shooting device", instead of just throwing the explosive projectile.

This is purely a graphical difference. Any "shooting device" would just be hard-drawn on to the lemming sprite, not a seperate graphic.

One thing I should note here regarding the two skills: If there is specifically good reason for it (ie: not just "for the sake of it" or "it looks good"), the two may have a different projectile speed, as long as the actual arc they follow is still the same. This is not currently the case, but it's feasible to do without much hassle.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #58 on: November 20, 2020, 01:53:14 am »
One issue that has arisen during the private test is that in the course of Thrower -> Shrugger, there is no terrain check performed to see if the lemming is still standing on terrain. This leads to a scenario where, either by grenading close to a wall or by having another lemming remove terrain, you can have a Thrower suspended in midair, and assign a skill - including another throwing skill (and repeat this infinitely) - to him when he becomes a shrugger.

After some thought, the solution I would like to propose here is that, on every frame after the projectile leaves the lemming's hand but while the lemming remains a Thrower, including the frame on which it would otherwise become a shrugger; a terrain check is performed, and if there is no ground under the Thrower, he becomes a faller.

The advantages to this are:
- Doesn't change the Shrugger behavior, as it addresses the situation before the lemming becomes a shrugger. Therefore, it does not risk breaking existing replays.
- The "can hover while actually doing something, but can't stay there" is, while unrealistic, a bit more consistent with other constructive / destructive skills.
- The point of the Shrugger time is to allow assigning another skill, including another projectile skill. Alternative options require either introducing a new state, or else having the Thrower's ability to receive skills dependant on how far along in the throwing animation it is. This avoids that problem.

The one disadvantage is that it's a little bit inconsistent that a builder or platformer can become a shrugger while in midair, while a thrower cannot. However, the key difference is that it's not directly "thrower cannot become shrugger in midair", but rather, "midair thrower becomes faller" (before it has a chance to become shrugger) - so this is only indirectly inconsistent, and I think this is okay.

However, other suggestions / feedback are welcome.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #59 on: November 20, 2020, 02:43:58 am »
One thing I don't quite understand: why do the projectile skills have a shrugger state? ???

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #60 on: November 20, 2020, 02:50:04 am »
One thing I don't quite understand: why do the projectile skills have a shrugger state? ???

So that the lemming pauses on the spot for a bit, giving a chance to assign another skill (in particular another projectile) before they move on.

Maybe this actually isn't necessary at all, or it's even desirable to not allow this. This is a further possible solution.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #61 on: November 20, 2020, 03:47:08 am »
A bug has come up where, if projectiles exist when a state is loaded, they jump to the wrong position. This includes when a state is loaded as part of backwards framestepping.

(I honestly expected the Slider to be the buggy one, but the projectiles are the only ones with bugs so far...)

EDIT: Fixed in commit b2c30c6.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2020, 05:17:32 am by namida »

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #62 on: November 20, 2020, 05:40:54 am »
I've implemented the proposed fix (thrower has terrain check on frames after projectile leaves hand and becomes faller if terrain is removed) in commit e8f8065. I did experiment with removing the shrugger, and while it's still perfectly possible to chain throws (thanks to skill queueing), it just feels awkward how quickly they revert to walker. Extending this would introduce an edge case where the thrower can only be assigned certain skills once it's past a certain frame in its animation, and this feels even worse. Keeping the shrugger feels nicest, ultimately.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #63 on: November 20, 2020, 06:35:13 am »
Keeping the shrugger feels nicest, ultimately.

It's definitely good that these skills can be chained from one lem standing on the spot, that's a good move. Maybe a new state could be invented though, where instead of shrugging they "check" to see if the projectile has landed where they wanted it to or something...

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Spearer and Grenader (projectile constructive / destructive)
« Reply #64 on: November 20, 2020, 05:55:57 pm »
Keeping the shrugger feels nicest, ultimately.

It's definitely good that these skills can be chained from one lem standing on the spot, that's a good move. Maybe a new state could be invented though, where instead of shrugging they "check" to see if the projectile has landed where they wanted it to or something...

If this is done purely for cosmetic reasons, I don't see the point. On the other hand, if this is done as an "introduce a new state similar to Shrugger, but with terrain checks, for Throwers to use", that could be more viable? However, I'll leave it as it currently stands for now, and see what feedback comes in after the public exp build and decide from there.