Author Topic: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion  (Read 11094 times)

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Offline namida

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[DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« on: November 21, 2020, 12:15:36 AM »
This topic was created around the time of the first public release of a new-skills experimental build.

For any general discussion of your opinions on the new skills, potential uses or substitutes for them, etc, please use this topic. This may include sharing levels you have made with the new skills.

Do not use this topic for bug reports or suggestions to change the skills. Create a new topic for those, tagging them as appropriate.

Please post levels in the New Skills Levels topic.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2020, 05:38:58 AM by namida »

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2020, 12:23:37 AM »
And to start this off, here's a couple of levels that I've made so far.

( EDIT: Attachments removed, get them in levels topic: https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=5227.0 )
« Last Edit: November 23, 2020, 05:39:15 AM by namida »

Offline Proxima

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2020, 12:24:57 AM »
Here's my first new-skills level 8-) Already on version 3 after backroutes by IchoTolot and namida!

Offline Gronkling

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2020, 03:41:42 AM »
My opinions from a graphics/design rather than game-play viewpoint, just throwing out my ideas
  • Slider - This one fits 100% perfectly in line with other skills
  • Laserer - A laser seems too futuristic compared to other skills. A fun idea I had would be to make it just be a lemming yelling really loudly, with the sound acting as the laser, though this might be hard to visualise. Something like a water cannon or hosepipe is another idea to think about as a more original lemming-y feeling laser that can be visualised more easily.
  • Grenadier - To me this one feels the most out of place, again it too hi tech, but also too 'dangerous' feeling for a lemming. I think it'd be fun if they threw a piece of their green hair rather than a grenade, which would match the exploder skill and nuke in that lemmings are strangely explosive. A different approach would be using grenades, but simpler ones made of wood or dirt or something.
  • Spearer - I think this one fits well since they're similar to builders etc.

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2020, 09:48:23 AM »
After briefly playing around with them over the last 2 days here is my stance:

1.) I'm ok with all 4 making the final cut.

2.) My preference list would be: Laserer --> grenader/spearer --> slider. So if a skill needs to go my vote is still placed on the slider as during my testing around this is still the skill I can replace the easiest or is the least flashy. On the other hand I would still be ok with it existing and would still use it. It's just if we can't have all it wouldn't get my vote.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2020, 11:14:18 AM »
Alright, here's my first level (I had this idea in mind for a while), and two ways to solve it.

The first solution involves two Laserers and doesn't use the Spearer. The second solution replaces the first Laserer with two Spearers, with the Shimmier landing on top of those spears to fence instead. Note that one Spearer is not enough, because the Shimmier will shimmy into the spear and slide down instead (given that it's also a Slider).

Note that the replay using the Spearer still requires one Laserer to free the Blocker at the end. Doing this with another Fencer would require an additional Builder to connect to the wall, plus an additional destructive skill to remove that staircase again later on.

The Spearer solution is a 100% solution. This is because the Spearer causes the Slider to turn around an additional time, thereby preventing him from walking off into the water and dying.

There you go: Interactions of the new skills! :thumbsup: The Spearer improves the solution even further!

All four new skills have to stay in my book!


PS: Yes, I'm aware that the Spearer allows you to backroute the level as it currently is, by simply using it to break the fall on the right side. ;) I just put it into this level to allow for both solutions. If all the skills do indeed remain in the stable version and this level can thus become an actual level, I will obviously make further changes to it to either enforce the Spearer use at the right spot, or go with the 2-Laserer solution instead (i.e. not providing any Spearers).
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Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2020, 11:44:01 AM »
...and here's another one using the Grenadier as well!

Turning around Sliders anywhere you want just by using a Builder is a really nice thing to have.
Especially when they're also Climbers, so that you can't simply place a Stacker in front of them as with regular lemmings.

Note that the pioneer lemming would die at the end of this solution if he weren't a Slider. Because he's a Climber as well, which would cause him to go over the stack he placed for the crowd, and walk into the trap.

Some curious cases about this level, I just want to clarify whether this is intended:

- When a Climber-Slider reaches the top of a wall and falls back down again, he slides. This is great to break a Climber's fall, of course (not relevant in this level), but is it intended? How is this handled in Lemmings 2: The Tribes? I thought a Climber bumping his head would always turn back into a regular Faller? (Not that we would have to stick to L2 behaviour, of course. As long as the Slider turns around when reaching a "closed" wall at the bottom, so that he doesn't get stuck in a loop of going up and down the same wall, everything is fine.

- You can try out the nuances about this "does the Slider turn around or not?" depending on where you place the Stacker on the stairs on the left side of the level:
Stack on flat ground and the Slider will turn around when reaching the bottom of the stack.
Stack in such a way that the stack is protruding over the staircase, and the Slider will have his feet in the air when reaching the bottom of the stack. He will thus turn into a Faller briefly, still looking into the direction he was facing while sliding, and walk back into the direction where he came from (in this case, into the trap).

- When a Slider slides into the water pool and is also a Swimmer, he immediately hops out of the water again, because sliding causes him to face the shoreline. :thumbsup:


PS: If you use the Grenadier close to a wall, it technically acts very similar to an L2 Bomber (=the one that doesn't kill the lemming, because the original Bomber has been renamed to Exploder in L2). Very useful to have / know as well! ;) Almost two skills for the price of one.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2020, 11:52:49 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
Lemmings Open Air, my newest release and follow-up to World Tour, 120 levels
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 IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2020, 01:47:43 PM »
Icho has done some thinking!

While I still have the opinion that from the new 4 skills the slider is the weakest, I can see it making a bunch of situations more conveniant that involve multiple tight turns. While they all can be be subsituted more or less easily in some combination by other skills, as I could try to show here again and again, I think all 4 skills have their reasons to stay and my energy is used better elsewhere. ;)

That would still leave the problem of the workload of finalising the implementation, the added complexity and maintenance of those skills.

That lead me to the following thought: Why don't we cut down on new things somewhere else? ???

The answer here are the new objects we are discussing about:
https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=4772.0

Namida stated there:
Quote
...I am willing to add more than one...

So why not having just 1 additional object type and as a result keep those 4 skills in which coding work was already invested! ???

Another big reason here is:

- New skills usually brought in more new levels than new objects!

I have seen more shimmier levels already than splitter or one-way field levels! I have even seen more disarmer levels!

Also, I think new skills are easier to introduce to players!

New objects have to be reached and experimented with first while skills can just be assigned and experimented with from the get-go. On top of that, new design guidelines for a new object type must be developed and actually followed to make the object as clear as possible and even after that it is not so clear that new players will get them from the start.

Generally I consider the entry complexity load from new objects greater than the one from new skills.
Skills are more "easy to lean hard to master" types while objects can struggle a lot more with the initial hurdle but after that lacking the overall depth of skills.

So why not keep all 4 new skills and as a compromise cut down on the new objects? ???

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2020, 01:53:35 PM »
I have forgotten to attach my new solutions to namida's and Proxima's levels. :P

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2020, 02:16:03 PM »
I fully agree with everything IchoTolot has outlined in his second-to-last post! :thumbsup: (Well, except of course that I have always liked the Slider from the getgo, but since we're both endorsing the "keep all four skills" position now, in the absence of "skill-slot scarcity", we won't have to argue about the Slider anymore :P .)

I've been maintaining for the longest time that the main problem with Lemmings 2: The Tribes was not the abundance of skills itself (even though the game is infamous for that), but
a) the redundancy of some of them (Basher / Club Basher being the most glaring example) and
b) the execution difficulty, especially for skills involving the fan (which we don't have in NeoLemmix anyway, so that problem is irrelevant)

I don't see any redundancy with the skills we have in NeoLemmix so far. Not even for Laserer vs. Fencer - and if somebody wants to make that case, I'd still consider Stacker and Stoner as having much more overlap than those two. And yet, Stacker and Stoner have been a staple of NeoLemmix for many years now, and the community has found enough cases where the difference between them is indeed very much relevant.



So I'd definitely rather have more skills (that is, all we have now in the latest experimental, not "more in addition to those" ;) ) than new objects.

In fact, I could do without most of the objects that are being proposed in that new-objects thread. Of my favourites, only 2-3 are remaining as possible contenders. But I'll outline those in the appropriate thread.
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Pit Lems (Old Formats), a more puzzly one, 100 levels - Let's Played by nin10doadict
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Offline Proxima

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2020, 06:26:10 PM »
Since others are already giving their opinions of the new skills, I will too, with the obvious caveat that this may change as I spend more time playing with them.

The spearer and grenader are huge fun -- for some reason, it is really satisfying to see the projectiles flying around, and to construct solutions where lemmings in one place affect things in another place. The two skills complement each other really well; spearer is the more versatile of the two, but the grenader is not far behind and also has a very interesting unique use case, being able to release a blocker without having to give the player any of the line-based destructive skills. In short, both skills are great and I'd love to keep both.

However, I still feel the arc is too broad, making these skills a bit too powerful, which will be a continuing nightmare from the backroute-prevention point of view. My preference would be roughly what I suggested earlier: same height, about 3/4 of the current width. But if they make it in with the current arc, they are still great skills and I'll be happy to use them.

I don't like the laserer at all; I just can't think of anything interesting to do with it. Its two main uses -- digging diagonally upwards, and affecting ceilings from a distance -- are covered by the fencer and grenader respectively. I still think a steeper laserer (such as 3:1) would be more interesting. But I guess we're not going to get to play with that possibility now.

The slider is still the best of the new skills :P

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2020, 06:49:52 PM »
I was skeptical about the Laserer at first, too, fearing that the angle might be too flat. But now, seeing it in direct comparison to the Fencer (especially with the two different solutions for my level Microcosm, where you can see the Fencer comes out of the wall quite a bit lower), I don't think any longer that it's a problem: For any case where I want to apply the Laserer in its traditional L2 manner, i.e. more akin to an upward Digger, the tunnel is still steep enough. Because the Fencer only has a 2:1 ratio, the Laserer a 1:1 ratio (=45°).

Regarding projectiles, I'd agree that the Spearer is more useful than the Grenader, but maybe I'm just personally more creative (pun intended :P ) with the former. I'm with IchoTolot though that a long horizontal range (as it currently is) is what makes this skill useful. Especially when working within the confines of a "classical Lemmings level", which does not include vertical, but only horizontal scrolling. Having a steep arc for the projectiles is just not nearly as useful as a longer horizontal rage in those standard and very frequent cases. Indeed, I think this is the case you're making: That this horizontal range makes the projectiles [i}too[/i] powerful. I would argue that we will probably just have to learn to limit their location of applicability by making them pickup skills, if need be - just like with any other skill.

That is, unless we get no-assignment fields on top of that, of course. ;)

Quote
The slider is still the best of the new skills

Here, in contrast, I'm completely with you. ;) And I haven't even made any levels yet that feature my much-anticipated Slider-Shimmier or Slider-Jumper / Jumper-Slider transitions... :thumbsup:
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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
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Offline mantha16

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2020, 09:17:32 PM »
first attempt at some experimental levels very easy ones

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2020, 02:37:14 AM »
+1 for all 4 skills.

My preferences are, in this order:

1 (Joint position) Slider, Grenadier, Spearer, Laserblaster
2
3
4

Attached replays for people's levels that I managed to solve (including 2 of Armani's!) :lemcat:

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2020, 04:38:15 AM »
For my levels: Every solution that's been posted to Grand Heist is a backroute (and, three different backroutes, too). Pedantic Phaser, on the other hand, everyone has gotten the intended solution.

Offline Minim

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2020, 06:00:54 AM »
I thought I'd give these new skills a try too and give my thoughts.

I'm pretty much agree with Proxima about the usefulness and the funness of the Grenadier and Spearer. I think the colour of the Grenade should be different (Maybe Purple, Red, Dark Grey or Brown?) otherwise the icon just looks like he's throwing Lemming's hair. :sick: Also, the Grenade's radius is surprisingly big (It's been a long time since the "Giant Bombers" gimmick that I saw a crater this large, and I remember how big that was :o). Makes me curious to find out why.

The laserer's kinda redundant because you have the fencer, and also, you can't create or destroy steel.

The slider certainly has confused me with the mechanics, particularly as they face the opposite direction after falling down a wall, but I see plenty of potential. (It'd certainly be useful for the level "Save Me", but you'll need several lemmings for this)
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Offline Dullstar

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2020, 10:35:51 AM »
There have been concerns that the Laser Blaster may be redundant with the Mortar/Grenadier and/or the Fencer, particularly with the current angle as opposed to a steeper one. I disagree with this perspective.

This level is designed to demonstrate a situation where the Laser Blaster is of use, but the other destructive skills are not, in such a way that the desired outcome is not easily replicated with the existing skills. The interaction showcased in this level would also outright break in a way that cannot be fixed with a steeper Laser Blaster. All destructive skills are present, including the new ones - feel free to try to get up there using any destructive skill other than the Laser Blaster - I can't think of a way to create a suitable terrain grade with any other skill (and if you do find another way, I want to know about it, because I'd like to use that).

That said, I do feel the Laser Blaster's range is a bit too long - I'm not sure if there is a maximum right now, but if there is this level was too small to show it off; I feel like if I were to include it in a proper level I'd probably want to put in a lot of steel. If we're concerned it doesn't make sense for a laser to eventually stop, we could always make it something else visually.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2020, 10:40:11 AM »
Quote
The laserer's kinda redundant because you have the fencer, and also, you can't create or destroy steel.

Why should any skill be able to destroy steel? ??? Not even Bombers can do that. Bombers (and now Grenaders) already have the dedicated power to get through one-way arrows. (Especially with the Grenader, this is something we always have to be aware of from now on, because its crater is larger than the Bombers. Which is a little weird - normally you'd expect a bomb to cause a larger crater than a grenade, I guess. :evil: But a Bomber is not the same thing as dropping an actual bomb; it's more like a lemming with a dynamite belt.)

Especially considering the long range of the Laserer, steel absolutely needs to be able to stop it. If haven't tried going against one-way arrows or one-way fields with the Laserer yet.



@Dullstar: Indeed, when providing only destructive skills, there is no other way to get up there. If you don't include any constructive skills but the Spearer, you could do the same thing I did in my level "Microcosm", where you throw two spears into the ceiling so that a Shimmier can land on them and start fencing from there. You need two spears, because a single one has too flat of an angle when landing in the ceiling, so that the Shimmier will simply bump against it and fall off.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2020, 10:46:22 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
Lemmings Open Air, my newest release and follow-up to World Tour, 120 levels
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 Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2020, 12:20:51 PM »
Here's another one! ;)

I hope I could enforce the solution in such a way that it can't be solved by just a single pioneer lemming... that's why I had to make the Jumper a pickup skill, so the first worker lemming can't just jump towards the ceiling and shimmy up to the final part himself.

Also, I made the drop into the water a little higher on purpose, to avoid the quirky Slider-Swimmer behaviour discussed in the neighbouring thread. Also, this higher wall helps to keep the lemming trapped in a loop as long as needed, so that he doesn't walk off to the right and fall into the abyss.

Thus, whatever comes out of that Slider-Swimmer discussion, the drop is now high enough that this level should remain unaffected by any possible change regarding that matter.
My packs so far:
Lemmings World Tour (New & Old Formats), my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
Lemmings Open Air, my newest release and follow-up to World Tour, 120 levels
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] New skills general discussion
« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2020, 05:26:18 PM »
Okay... "You Scratch My Brick" may not be completely unfixable. Here's version 4.

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #20 on: November 22, 2020, 06:40:02 PM »
Quote
Especially considering the long range of the Laserer, steel absolutely needs to be able to stop it. If haven't tried going against one-way arrows or one-way fields with the Laserer yet.

Like all other destructive skills, force fields (and splitters) do not affect the skills - they may affect the lemming using it, but not the skill itself, until the lemming enters the one way field and himself turns around.

The laserer is indeed affected by one-way walls, on the other hand - a left-facing laserer can destroy one-way left but not one-way right and vice versa; while the laserer can destroy one-way up and cannot destroy one-way down.

Offline ericderkovits

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2020, 08:52:25 PM »
I just downloaded the experimental neolemmix player to see the new proposed skills. Not sure how I feel about them. At first I liked the laser blaster, but after trying the test level, this skill seems
kinda futuristic for a neolemmix game. Also the other ones not really sure either. Maybe it's because some of these were in L2 the Tribes, and they to me felt kinda silly.

I'm kinda happy with just the skills we have now. Also I'm kinda used to the original game where there is just the classic 8, also why I like Superlemmini.

But to me it doesn't matter which new proposed skills makes it in. Also maybe after a while, I'll get used to them and perhaps like them more. This is just my initial reaction to them, but after seeing
them more in peoples packs, then perhaps I'll be glad there availiable.

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #22 on: November 23, 2020, 03:26:28 AM »
Replays for the more recent levels/versions of levels. I'm sure some of these are backroutes, and I can no longer solve Proxima's! :P

These new skills are brilliant, there is definitely a lot of potential here! :thumbsup:

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #23 on: November 23, 2020, 05:38:18 AM »
Just a heads up - I've created a separate topic for actually posting levels in, just so it's easier to find them (and in particular to find the latest versions).

https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=5227.0

Please move all existing level postings to that topic when you get a chance, and post new / updated levels in there from now on.

Offline Minim

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #24 on: November 23, 2020, 06:56:39 AM »
Hey, thanks for this useful link. The number of levels that everybody's created is amazing to the point of getting out of hand really. I will have a look into each and every one of them.

By the time we get a stable version, I'm thinking of reviving the Level Solving Contest, using some of the new skills. However, I haven't got any levels in mind. If anybody simply has a large enough level to be worthy of sheer experimentation then speak up.
Level Solving Contest creator. Anybody bored and looking for a different challenge? Try these levels!

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Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #25 on: November 24, 2020, 03:49:54 AM »
OK, so here are my replays for the levels I've managed to solve so far. I came close to solving Strato's The Creation, but there is one key element to this level which eluded me, and it's to do with Slider behaviour:

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

This behaviour is very unique to the Slider skill, and definitely lends itself well to puzzle creation. It makes it more than just another way to get down from a height: it's also
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
.

Therefore, the Slider is definitely top of my list from this bunch of new skills. That's not really saying much though coz they're all great! :thumbsup:

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #26 on: November 24, 2020, 11:53:12 AM »
Yes, that is one possible backroute to "Microcosm". I guess I will eventually have to enforce the 2-Laserer solution and cut the Spearer from this particular level. ;)

"Thus spoke Zarathustra" was solved, as feared, with just one worker lemming instead of two. However, this is only possible due to the high ramp, which is needed as long as we have the current Slider-Swimmer behaviour. If this is changed, I can lower that ramp. If now, I'll have to dent the ceiling in such a way that you can't jump off the ramp to reach for the ceiling.

Have you seen my level "The Creation"? It wasn't in your "Strato Exp Skills levels" ZIP. And that one should definitely need the Spearer to work.
My packs so far:
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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 IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #27 on: November 24, 2020, 05:00:24 PM »
I've taken a look at the solutions Strato's 3 levels now:

Microcosm

The slider confuses me here I must say. It only really turns around and gets a lemming down twice and that could be easily emulated with a slight level layout change:
Extending the water area to the area where he would land and give him a swimmer. Remove the ramp to the water pit so he can get out and a wall on the right so he can turn. That way it's secured that only the swimmer can turn there.
This would also make 1 builder not nessesary so it can be culled and make the level more backroute proofed.
The other 2 turnarounds at the spears and the builder cancel each other out and are just for looks.

Otherwise it nicely shows the spear serving as a ramp to land on for a shimmier. :)

--------------------------------

The Creation

Again, the slider usage seems a bit basic here as it just turns around a lem 2 times and not even bringing him down on another level. You also need into invest another builder just for turnarounds! And this results in me breaking the level wide open - attached a replay. 8-)

I think using another grenader or a well thrown spearer could be more backroute proofed there and you can cull that 2nd builder + the stacker!

--------------------------------

Thus spoke Zarathustra

This uses the slider better with the shimmier interaction. In general shimmiers tend to act well together with 3 of the 4 new skills. Although placing the big pillar at the right side just screams "simply glide into it to get down" instead of giving 2 extra shimmiers and the slider! This can be done by 1 glider if the terrain below is slightly extended.

But the slider shimmier transition is still one of the stronger points of the skill in my opinion.

The infinite holding pit at the bottom only would need 1 terrain block at the left and the top slider usage could be emulated with a lem jumping up again when he turned around at the right though.

--------------------------------

All in all, you showed nice tricks with the slider but especially the turning around one has a major flaw in your examples: You need extra skills to make it happen and especially the case of using the builder only to turn around a slider has so many possibilities for exploits as extra builders are easily exploitable. And the turning around part can easily be emulated by so many other interaction or slight terrain changes. My replay here would serve as an example.

This could be improved thogh: I suggest if you use a skill only to turn around a slider, make the skill do something else on top of that! This way the slider interaction helps making another nessesary skill in the level even more important!

I think this rule could be used to make better levels highlighting the uniqueness of the slider! :)

Again, I take the slider over a new object any day! I just see that it still can easily substituted in many cases by existing behaviors so the better levels will likely find ways to highlight unique features without giving out extra skills that lead to easy exploits. Namida's "Pendantic Phaser" would be a good example here.

Your levels made very good showcases for the spearer and laserer though. Especially in combination with the shimmier. :)

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #28 on: November 24, 2020, 05:57:23 PM »
Quote
This could be improved thogh: I suggest if you use a skill only to turn around a slider, make the skill do something else on top of that! This way the slider interaction helps making another nessesary skill in the level even more important!

Yeah, indeed I tried to do exactly that on "Microcosm": I wanted the staircase to both turn around the Slider and simultaneously break the fall from above out of the Laserer tunnel.
But I couldn't see a way to make the drop higher without breaking the path for the Shimmier. At least not initially. ;)
Now, instead of moving everything up, including the exit (which would have broken the Basher trick on the left), I've connected the different altitudes with a slope of the maximal possible Shimmier-friendly increase (45°).

I've attached an edited version of the level and a new replay. Removed the Fencer, the Spearers (because they could be used like Stoners to break the fall on the right), as well as one Builder, because stacking at the end of the Laserer tunnel is enough to prevent the crowd from falling out.

Interestingly, the Slider survives a drop out of the Laserer tunnel, even when not landing on the staircase - but if the crowd falls from the same height, it does not survive. ;)
However, this should not be a matter of 1 pixel, i.e. precision:
I think it's because the Slider's feet are actually already much lower (8 pixels) when he turns into a Faller? Since he's dangling from the ceiling before he falls, whereas a regular Walker turns into a Faller immediately after losing ground.

It's kind of similar to how, as a kid, jumping down from something high seems much more dangerous when you're standing upright, compared to when you're crowching down before you jump... at least it took me a while as a kid to understand that the height I was jumping down was actually the same. :D

This could be a devious little trick, where you can use Sliders to break falls even in such cases where there isn't actually a straight wall to slide down... :evil:

I will also put the update in the levels thread where we collect them all; this is just to respond to IchoTolot's point.

Quote
Although placing the big pillar at the right side just screams "simply glide into it to get down" instead of giving 2 extra shimmiers and the slider!

In fact, I originally intended for the lemming to have to jump over to the pillar to slide, instead of sliding down the steel and transitioning straight into a Shimmier. The pillar remained in there as a red herring. :P


Your minor backroute to "The Creation" was also interesting; this shows how the Spearer can create shortcuts similar to the Stoner. Not quite as powerful, of course, because you still need another lemming to place the spear correctly first, whereas Stoners can just break falls and provide a "foothold" for Builders when coming from the same side as the worker lemming. But still... these types of "drop down and go around the obstacle (in this case the steel wall that's supposed to prevent you from building from the right) from below" shortcuts are easy to overlook. Or rather, so far I only ever thought of them when providing Stoners.
My packs so far:
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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 WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #29 on: November 25, 2020, 04:56:19 AM »
Quote from: Strato
Have you seen my level "The Creation"? It wasn't in your "Strato Exp Skills levels" ZIP. And that one should definitely need the Spearer to work.

Yes, I've tried it several times and was unable to come up with a solution. After watching your replay, I'm certain that the reason for the no-solve was because
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

This is a clever trick, and makes it a particularly interesting level amongst this bunch. The more of these sorts of tricks we learn, the better our ability to solve levels! :lemcat:

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #30 on: November 26, 2020, 08:48:17 PM »
So, now that I have made my own post in the Feedback thread, I have read the other ones.

Apparently, and as expected, each of the four members who have posted so far has a different least favourite skill (i.e. the one they would cut if they had to cut one).

IchoTolot: favourite Laserer, least favourite Slider
Proxima: favourite Slider, least favourite Laserer
WillLem: favourite Slider, least favourite Spearer
Me: favourite Laserer, least favourite Grenader

So one "cull-if-it-has-to-be" vote for each skill. :D In other words, no overwhelming dislike for any particular skill.

Sounds to me like more evidence that we should keep all four :thumbsup: !
My packs so far:
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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 WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #31 on: November 26, 2020, 09:23:12 PM »
Just a few gently burning comments after reading the replies to namida's New Skills Potential post:

A quick glance at the "Favourite Tricks" comments has made me realise that these skills are even better than I thought! In particular,
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

We'll definitely need some decent tutorial levels to demonstrate the most likely possibilities.

The Slider>Shimmier transition possibilities are particularly worthy of note: this is doable from any type of overhang, and cannot be emulated by any other skill/object combination.

The extensive range of the Laserblaster is one of the many things that makes it such a good skill, I definitely wouldn't want to see the range shortened from what it is now, at least not by any significant amount.

The fact that the Grenadier blast radius is larger than that of the Bomber is, again, a very good thing. Anything that can make such light work of OWW is OK in my book! ;P But seriously - yes, it's a powerful skill, but due to the intensity of its arc, it's one you still have to be fairly careful with.

I've said the Spearer is my least favourite, but I could definitely get used to it. I think we're all in the "All Four Skills" club, really :lemcat:
« Last Edit: November 26, 2020, 09:34:40 PM by WillLem »

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #32 on: November 26, 2020, 10:17:52 PM »
I also think that the likes and dislikes of the new skills are quite distributed and not too centered. You can't really make out a skill hated by the majority for example.

Although this isn't just a popularity contest as the general potential can be different from the popularity.

Different levels from different people have been made with all skills showing all sorts of different behaviors and I think I need to make even more videos in the fututre as my 9 test levels are not enough. :D

This especially, I think, is a good point for the inclusion of all and again I prefer all of those skills above any of the new object ideas.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #33 on: November 27, 2020, 12:30:57 AM »
Quote
Although this isn't just a popularity contest as the general potential can be different from the popularity.

That may be technically true - theoretically, a lot of people could enjoy something that would enable e.g. bad puzzle design - but in practice, I'd say those two things go hand in hand:

1) If a skill is popular, a lot of people will use it, therefore lots of level ideas will be created. That's already loads of potential by itself, but you're pretty much also guaranteed to get quite a lot of decent puzzles out of this if so many different minds throw their hats in the ring.
2) If there were really something we would consider "bad for the game but popular"... well, wouldn't that just mean that the community consensus on what makes good level design shifts? :D

Just like we see it happening now already: Initially, this whole idea came from the shared feeling "19 is a weird number, let's wrap NeoLemmix up with one 20th skill".
The somewhat unspoken consensus also seemed to be "NeoLemmix is already complex enough, let's not overdo it with too many skills."

Now there are more voices than I would ever  have expected on team "4 more skills!" (insert Trump joke here). As if this experimental version had brought out the inner Lemmings 2: The Tribes player in all of us. ;)


One more thing I realised about the Laserer:

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
My packs so far:
Lemmings World Tour (New & Old Formats), my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
Lemmings Open Air, my newest release and follow-up to World Tour, 120 levels
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] New skills general discussion
« Reply #34 on: November 27, 2020, 12:59:14 AM »

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #35 on: November 27, 2020, 08:31:17 AM »
Quote
1) If a skill is popular, a lot of people will use it, therefore lots of level ideas will be created. That's already loads of potential by itself, but you're pretty much also guaranteed to get quite a lot of decent puzzles out of this if so many different minds throw their hats in the ring.

Quantity does not automatically indicate quality. The base of what is used must have value in order to give the possibility of quality a chance.

Quote
2) If there were really something we would consider "bad for the game but popular"... well, wouldn't that just mean that the community consensus on what makes good level design shifts?

Not really. Even if we would get 1000 new members who would all be fire and flames for hidden objects and won't be convinced it doesn't make the concept any better. Just because a lot of people are on the side of A doesn't mean that A is good - you can see that on many examples in the real world.


Again, this just a statement on why popularity does not automatically go hand in hand with quality/potential/...... and nothing more.:8():

To underline my points here, here is an article about this: https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/9/11/e027536

They tried to proof a relationship between popularity and likely efficacy of an app. Quote of their conclusion:

"No relationship was found between popularity and likely efficacy suggesting that popularity does not assure high quality, and what is liked may not be what is likely to be effective."

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #36 on: November 27, 2020, 10:22:58 AM »
Well, I wouldn't really measure level quality in efficacy ;) . It's a matter of personal taste. We as a community have just become pretty good at eventually convincing most new members of our position. :evil:

So I agree with you that yes, if we were to get a huge influx of new players all at once, that might tip the "democratic" opinion on what makes a fun level...
...which us, the established player base, would probably consider the "ignorance of the common plebs" :P .



@namida: Fair enough. As I said, if the distance at which the second Laserer is assigned matters because of range, then I could imagine quite a few cases where this would be relevant. But with the current long range of the Laserer (which I don't mind, btw!), there probably wouldn't be a lot of cases where a close-up Laserer can reach terrain that the first one couldn't reach from further away. And in those cases, the difference between Walker --> Laserer, Cloner --> Laserer, and Laserer --> Cloner should be negligible.
My packs so far:
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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 Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #37 on: December 06, 2020, 04:36:55 PM »
Okay, some nice conclusions from IchoTolot's newest two levels:

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: December 06, 2020, 05:00:52 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
Lemmings Open Air, my newest release and follow-up to World Tour, 120 levels
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] New skills general discussion
« Reply #38 on: December 06, 2020, 07:34:36 PM »
I have stated this earlier on Discord and think it's only fair I state it on the forum too: At this point, I am close to certain that the Laserer will be making it into stable. I'm still undecided (with various leanings) on the other three.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #39 on: December 06, 2020, 07:48:31 PM »
So the main issue with the Laserer right now is how it should behave, not "if"? ;)

To me it seems like the Slider is also pretty safe. Support for this skill has always been strong, and it continues to be. Even IchoTolot has come to like the Shimmier transitions, as far as I could tell.

And in turn, IchoTolot's example levels have done a very good job at convincing me of the projectiles! :thumbsup: The Spearer in particular - the Grenader is a little more narrow in its range of application, but in exchange, it's arguably much more powerful than the Spearer in many regards.


So while overall, I had the impression that support for the projectiles was the "shakiest" in comparison, I haven't seen any outright rejection of them.

And if the skills were sentient, they truly couldn't have asked for a better proponent than IchoTolot, who really seems to be running the projectiles through all their gears.
To me, he has shown with just a couple of levels that their potential far exceeds anything I had initially thought of when they first came up as potential candidates. :thumbsup:
My packs so far:
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Lemmings Open Air, my newest release and follow-up to World Tour, 120 levels
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] New skills general discussion
« Reply #40 on: December 06, 2020, 07:51:35 PM »
Quote
So the main issue with the Laserer right now is how it should behave, not "if"? ;)

I wouldn't consider it outright set in stone yet, but that's pretty much the guise I'm working under at the moment.

One other concern that has seen limited discussion, but definitely needs to see more before any final decisions, is whether the skills are overpowered. The Grenader in particular feels at risk of this for me, as much as I do love the skill in and of itself - it is very prone to backroutes, perhaps even more so than the Builder and Stoner. If a skill has many use cases, but most of these are harmed by backroutes (either due to unfixability, or due to the fixes needed seriously harming the remainder of the puzzle), this would be quite a strong argument against the skill - however, I'm not saying "this is the case", I'm saying "it needs more discussion". By comparison, I'm less concerned (though not entirely unconcerned) about this with the other three - the Slider can usually be dealt with in very subtle ways if need be, the Spearer's effect is limited, and while there's no obvious reason as such the Laserer does seem to be less prone to this than the Grenader (which shows the value of real-world trials rather than just theoretical discussion!).

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #41 on: December 06, 2020, 09:15:19 PM »
Yes, I would definitely agree that the Grenader runs the greatest risk of being overpowered. I'm deliberately only saying "risk", not claiming it were overpowered. ;)

In particular, the Grenader is more prone to backroutes if

a) it is supplied in large quantities
b) there are thin pieces of one-way arrows that the Grenader can simply ignore

a) is true for a lot of skills, but in particular Builder and Stoner are the most dangerous ones in this regard. At least so far - and the Grenader definitely belongs in that category, even if it doesn't seem to have anything in common with those two skills otherwise.
b) is already true for the Bomber. It's just that what is already too thick for a Bomber can still be thin enough for a Grenader. Plus, the Bomber can be reigned in by adjusting the save requirement, whereas the Grenader, being non-lethal, cannot.

Both the Grenader and the Spearer can be reigned in with regards to their power in a different way, though: And that is the height of the ceiling.
If the ceiling is too low to throw a grenade to the desired spot, or too low to assign a Spearer/Grenader in the place the lemming is currently standing, then the skill is similarly week as the Builder in such a situation.

So my question would be:
Is there ever a situation with the current physics where a lemming can be prevented from throwing the spear/grenade despite assignment? Meaning, he "bumps his hand" instead of his head against the ceiling and just stops?

This is indeed the case in Lemmings 2: The Tribes with the Filler/Glue Pourer skills: If the ceiling is too low for the lemming to lift his bucket, he just stops the execution of the skill.
Maybe this is something we could take as an example for the Spearer/Grenader, too? So that they can't just be assigned to a lemming wherever the player wants to?
My packs so far:
Lemmings World Tour (New & Old Formats), my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
Lemmings Open Air, my newest release and follow-up to World Tour, 120 levels
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] New skills general discussion
« Reply #42 on: December 06, 2020, 09:24:00 PM »
Quote
So my question would be:
Is there ever a situation with the current physics where a lemming can be prevented from throwing the spear/grenade despite assignment? Meaning, he "bumps his hand" instead of his head against the ceiling and just stops?

No. In the initial exp releases, the lemming would continue as normal until the point at which the projectile would have left his hand; at which time it would immediately impact where it was. (For a spear this might result in nothing happening at all, as the spear could very well be 100% inside terrain.)

In V4 and upwards, this is slightly changed: once the "pin" point of the projectile is horizontally in line with the lemming's "pin" point (the foot coordinate in sprite data), terrain checks begin. Additionally, on the first movement where it reaches this point, terrain checks occur at lower heights (not quite all the way down to the lemming's foot, though) as additional protection against throwing through ceilings. However, in all of these cases, the projectile continues to exist and will impact with its usual effect.

The only time in which the projectile disappears altogether is if the lemming holding it is removed before the projectile either (a) impacts terrain or (b) leaves the lemming's hand. It is very hard, but not impossible, to make this happen - you would need to assign the throwing skill, with a window of timing of about 3-4 frames, to a lemming standing in front of a currently-in-use-but-nearly-ready-again triggered trap (or a teleporter that will teleport the lemming into a hazard or the exit), or in front of a locked exit that finishes opening during this same window. On this note, I need to check if the new handling in V4 of the exp has lead to breakage when a thrower-teleporter interaction occurs...

EDIT: Ugh, confirmed that bugs do occur in such a case.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2020, 09:48:59 PM by namida »

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #43 on: December 06, 2020, 09:49:26 PM »
3) The Spearer has a great unique application in which... it can oftentimes create the right spot from which other things need to be done - meaning without the correct Spearer placement first, the correct position to assign a given other skill does not exist yet.

This is one of the reasons I don't like this skill, and for me would be a strong argument against it. My experience of the skill so far is that it's very fiddly and unintuitive, and will likely rely on long periods of pausing the game, finding just the right spot with the skill shadow, etc.

EDIT: I have since retracted this argument. None of the skills are necessarily pixel-precise, it depends how they're used

For me, this takes NeoLemmix even further and further into "know exactly what the level designer had in mind" territory, which becomes less and less fun the more complicated the game itself becomes.

The Grenader in particular feels at risk of this for me, as much as I do love the skill in and of itself - it is very prone to backroutes

I would assert that how prone a skill is to backroutes isn't grounds for exclusion. Any skill is prone to backroutes if used in a way not intended by the level designer, and - again - my biggest concern is that the game is going further and further that way. What's needed here is a bit of balance.

For me, the Grenadier feels like something of a blast of fresh air that the game sorely needs: its unpredictable nature offers much-needed counterpoint to the many fiddly, finnicky uses for most of the other destructive and constructive skills.

And, to expand on my original point: backroute-proofing is part of the craft of level design. It should be possible to include any skill and, if the level is well-designed enough, it won't be an issue. Not including skills because they might cause backroutes is as absurd to me as not including the Lemmings themselves!

b) there are thin pieces of one-way arrows that the Grenader can simply ignore

Ah! Music to my ears! :lemcat:
« Last Edit: December 07, 2020, 02:05:04 PM by WillLem »

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #44 on: December 06, 2020, 09:53:00 PM »
Quote
I would assert that how prone a skill is to backroutes isn't grounds for exclusion. Any skill is prone to backroutes if used in a way not intended by the level designer, and - again - my biggest concern is that the game is going further and further that way.

It isn't automatic grounds for disqualification. It is a strike against the skill, as it limits how useful it will actually be in practice. However, again, this has not been fully explored yet, and it may indeed turn out that useful tricks to backroute-proof against grenaders without giving away too much, will come to light. In such a case, this point would be far weaker than it is without such tricks.

Also - it's not "know what the designer had in mind", it's "figure out what the designer had in mind".

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #45 on: December 06, 2020, 10:03:49 PM »
It is a strike against the skill, as it limits how useful it will actually be in practice.

I disagree. The only limitations are the abilities of the level designer to backroute-proof against it, should they wish to. The skill itself is not the problem in this regard.

it may indeed turn out that useful tricks to backroute-proof against grenaders without giving away too much, will come to light

That's more like it. Level designers shouldn't worry about including any skill - they should simply design the level so that it can't be used in an undesirable way (should they wish to backroute-proof the level, that is).

Also - it's not "know what the designer had in mind", it's "figure out what the designer had in mind".

This is a topic in and of itself, I'll come back to this in a bit and post a new topic ;P

Offline kaywhyn

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #46 on: December 06, 2020, 11:15:34 PM »
3) The Spearer has a great unique application in which... it can oftentimes create the right spot from which other things need to be done - meaning without the correct Spearer placement first, the correct position to assign a given other skill does not exist yet.

This is one of the reasons I don't like this skill, and for me would be a strong argument against it. My experience of the skill so far is that it's very fiddly and unintuitive, and will likely rely on long periods of pausing the game, finding just the right spot with the skill shadow, etc.

I agree with you here about the Spearer being extremely fiddly. I've been able to solve all the levels that feature the new skills except for like 3 of them. It's likely that I'm just not that good at levels that use the spearer out of the other new skills, but there's just too many things that can happen with the spearer, I feel. For example, whether or not lemmings can step up out of a spear depends on how it lands, because either it will result in a 6 pixel wall or less or 7 pixel wall or higher. Even mantha's basic spearer level was difficult for me even though nothing but the spearer skill is provided. While playing through the new skills levels, one crucial difference between the projectile skills that took me by surprise is that the grenade doesn't disappear when it goes beyond the top of the level, but the spear does. I got to ask why is that? I'm guessing it's because the spear is added solid terrain and just like the builder, where you can't even build beyond the ceiling and the lemming dies when reaching it anyway, while the grenade itself isn't solid and doesn't interact with anything but the terrain?

That's why I'm still for either 0, 1, or 2 at most new skills added. If the maximum of two new skills, my choices would be in favor of the laser blaster and the slider, but not the range projectile skills. If less than 2, then either one of the skills I'm in favor of is fine with me, although I'm more in favor of to go laser blaster over the slider, as nice as the latter is. Otherwise, I'm perfectly fine with the status quo, with the 19 skills we currently have. 
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Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #47 on: December 06, 2020, 11:18:55 PM »
Quote
one crucial difference between the projectile skills that took me by surprise is that the grenade doesn't disappear when it goes beyond the top of the level, but the spear does.

This is not true; though it should be noted the grenade is tracked by the middle of its graphic, while the spear is tracked by the "point". Either projectile will be removed if it ends up more than 8px outside the level. This tolerance might need to be tweaked, though should be nonzero IMO.

Offline kaywhyn

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #48 on: December 07, 2020, 12:01:59 AM »
Quote
one crucial difference between the projectile skills that took me by surprise is that the grenade doesn't disappear when it goes beyond the top of the level, but the spear does.

This is not true; though it should be noted the grenade is tracked by the middle of its graphic, while the spear is tracked by the "point". Either projectile will be removed if it ends up more than 8px outside the level. This tolerance might need to be tweaked, though should be nonzero IMO.

Oh, I see. In that case, I haven't played enough levels where they can cross the top border of the level to see other possibilities. The level I noticed this happening was Icho's experimental 7, I believe. It's one where you just have stoners, spears, a grenade, and cloner. The grenade will cross the top border but still come back down to finish the animation, but the spear will go over the top border but disappears, i.e, it never comes down. Probably the top border was just borderline so that the grenade still can be successful but the spear disappeared when it happened. Perhaps if the level was slightly taller and the spear would not had disappeared, just like the grenade.
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Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #49 on: December 07, 2020, 12:16:50 AM »
Btw, one question: Can a lemming land on the spear as it's flying through the air?

For example, you throw a spear through the path of some Faller to break its fall (by turning him into a Walker for like 1-2 frames), and then the spear travels on to land somewhere else.

I'm not saying this is a level anyone should make - most likely, you should NOT :evil: - I just want to know whether it's theoretically possible. Or whether the spear only "becomes" terrain after having landed somewhere.

Quote from: WillLem
Quote from: Strato Incendus
b) there are thin pieces of one-way arrows that the Grenader can simply ignore


Ah! Music to my ears!

Are you really sure about a skill flat-out ignoring one-way arrows being a good thing?
;)

It's already enough of a constant issue with Diggers, because it has been esablished by the original game that they can go through horizontal one-way arrows (which was all the original game had anyway). You can make a wall Miner-proof without it being Digger-proof if you install horizontal one-way arrows pointing in the opposite direction than the one the Miner would be facing. But you can't do the opposite, i.e. making a wall Digger-proof without making it Miner-proof as well. The only type of one-way arrow that can stop a Digger are upward ones, and those can only be overcome by Fencers right now (and Laserers soon).

Bombers can ignore all types of one-way arrows, which is their distinct power, but they do so at two very considerable costs:
a) the loss of a lemming
b) the very small size of the area of terrain destroyed

The Grenader destroys more terrain than the Bomber, has range, AND is not lethal. In many contexts, it will thus be flat-out superior to the Bomber.

To be clear, this is not me putting the Grenader under general suspicion of causing backroutes, or advocating against its introduction. I still very much enjoy the skill. But calling the fact that it can so easily ignore any type of one-way arrows an improvement to the game as a whole, especially because it supposedly adds "unpredictability", is quite baffling to me. ??? If you say this...

Quote from: WillLem
That's more like it. Level designers shouldn't worry about including any skill - they should simply design the level so that it can't be used in an undesirable way (should they wish to backroute-proof the level, that is).

...you do realise that one-way arrows are one of the primary ways to accomplish precisely what you expect every level designer to be capable of, i.e. backroute fixing? ;)

And that therefore, a skill removing large chunks of terrain without caring about any one-way arrows at all poses inherent and completely new problems?


Quote from: WillLem
For me, the Grenadier feels like something of a blast of fresh air that the game sorely needs: its unpredictable nature offers much-needed counterpoint to the many fiddly, finnicky uses for most of the other destructive and constructive skills.

I don't see what's "unpredictable" about the Grenader at all. It's one of the two skills that has a skill shadow already now in experimental testing, so that actually makes it more predictable than the Laserer currently is. :P

And finally, if you say my comments about the Spearer are an argument against its implementation in your book, then I would like to remind you that you praising the Grenader's supposed "unpredictability", if people agree with you on that, would most certainly be a mark against its implementation for the vast majority of other NeoLemmix players. :P Because unpredictability, as I've outlined to you repeatedly, is the last thing the puzzle enthusiasts would want in the game.

So even if that's your personal opinion, and I can see how the Grenader might indeed "tip the balance away from high-precision solutions", not because of the arc, but because its crater is quite big and also irregularly shaped:
By highlighting this factor of supposed "unpredictability" as an "advantage" of the Grenader, you're still just adding more arguments against its introduction in the court of NeoLemmix public opinion. :P


I'd rather frame it as an argument against pixel precision. Preventing pixel precision is indeed something most NeoLemmix players can probably agree upon. And if the Grenader lends itself well to crafting less pixel-precise solutions (while the Spearer actually invites more pixel-precise solutions if you have to attach several spears to each other), then this could be an argument in the Grenader's favour instead. ;)



Speaking of things the projectiles ignore:
What about one-way fields? They only affect lemmings, right? Neither the laser beam, nor the spear, nor the grenade?

If you can even straight up throw a grenade through a one-way field, while I could see some fun puzzle applications for that - that would make backroute fixing even harder. Basically, only steel works (pun intended ;) ), and nothing else.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2020, 12:28:50 AM by Strato Incendus »
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Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #50 on: December 07, 2020, 12:45:58 AM »
Quote
I'm not saying this is a level anyone should make - most likely, you should NOT :evil: - I just want to know whether it's theoretically possible. Or whether the spear only "becomes" terrain after having landed somewhere.

Correct - the spear has no solidity until it impacts.

Quote
But you can't do the opposite, i.e. making a wall Digger-proof without making it Miner-proof as well.

You cannot have a "miners can destroy this but diggers cannot" pixel of terrain. You absolutely can create an overall structure that can be dealt with via a miner but not via a digger (while still providing both in the skillset).

Quote
What about one-way fields? They only affect lemmings, right? Neither the laser beam, nor the spear, nor the grenade?

One-way fields affecting the Laserer is out of the question due to the potential complexities on the rendering side of things. On the other hand, it is feasible to make this happen for projectiles if the community supports the idea; but they currently are not affected by them.

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #51 on: December 07, 2020, 01:03:54 AM »
Are you really sure about a skill flat-out ignoring one-way arrows being a good thing? ;)

Yes! :lemcat:

It's already enough of a constant issue with Diggers

I don't see that as an issue at all. OWWs by their nature are a "softer" obstacle than steel, whilst still being "harder" than terrain. It's a good thing that there are multiple ways to deal with them; it makes them an interesting and dynamic obstacle rather than just either being terrain or steel.

The Grenader destroys more terrain than the Bomber, has range, AND is not lethal. In many contexts, it will thus be flat-out superior to the Bomber.

I agree about the Grenadier being generally more powerful than the Bomber, but it's worth noting the ranged skills are not the easiest skills to deploy. The lem has to be standing in just the right spot, and oftentimes these skills are useless at close range - that's one thing the Bomber has over the Grenadier: you can use it anywhere!

But calling the fact that it can so easily ignore any type of one-way arrows an improvement to the game as a whole, especially because it supposedly adds "unpredictability", is quite baffling to me.

I'm thinking as a player rather than as a level designer. There are already so many ways to make a level so ridiculously complicated that even a highly skilled puzzle solver would have to spend many hours unravelling and unpicking it. I like the idea of a skill that can literally just blast its way through an obstacle! Of course, I wouldn't advocate this being the only destructive skill - but, it's good to have it alongside all the other more careful, precise ones.

...you do realise that one-way arrows are one of the primary ways to accomplish precisely what you expect every level designer to be capable of, i.e. backroute fixing?... And that therefore, a skill removing large chunks of terrain without caring about any one-way arrows at all poses inherent and completely new problems?

I didn't say I expect every level designer to be capable of backroute fixing, please don't put words in my mouth. The point I was making is that the skill itself is not necessarily a cause of unfixable backroutes; it just means that designers have to find other ways to backroute-proof their levels if they're choosing to provide Grenadiers in the skillset. One simple way would be to make the OWW thicker than the grenade blast (that's just one idea, I'm sure that there are many, many others).

The bottom line from my point of view is that "backroute-proofing" should not even be a concern when it comes to thinking about a new skill. Every skill is prone to backroutes, or not: there are far too many other variables to even make the statement "this skill will directly cause backroutes" with any degree of certainty.

By highlighting this factor of supposed "unpredictability" as an "advantage" of the Grenader, you're still just adding more arguments against its introduction in the court of NeoLemmix public opinion.

Not necessarily. My main argument is specifically that we have an opportunity to balance the skillset a bit: there are already plenty of high-precision, fine-detail skills. It's interesting to include one that's a bit more irregular and more difficult to predict how it might be used by the player.

I'd rather frame it as an argument against pixel precision... if the Grenader lends itself well to crafting less pixel-precise solutions... then this could be an argument in the Grenader's favour instead.

Sure, OK. That probably is a better way of selling it, to be fair :thumbsup:
« Last Edit: December 07, 2020, 01:23:21 AM by WillLem »

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #52 on: December 07, 2020, 01:26:21 AM »
Quote
The bottom line from my point of view is that "backroute-proofing" should not even be a concern when it comes to thinking about a new skill. Every skill is prone to backroutes, or not: there are far too many other variables to even make the statement "this skill will directly cause backroutes" with any degree of certainty.

It absolutely should. NeoLemmix's primary focus is on puzzles, don't forget - if a skill is hard to include in a puzzle without either having backroutes, or giving away the solution in an attempt to prevent backroutes, it is not a good fit. It might indeed be a much better fit for an engine like SuperLemmini.

Again, to be clear, I am not by any means saying "the grenader is rejected because it's too backroute prone". All I am saying is that this is a line of thought that needs to be given attention for all four skills, but that in particular the Grenader is of concern in regards to it.

Offline Proxima

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #53 on: December 07, 2020, 01:28:34 AM »
3) The Spearer has a great unique application in which... it can oftentimes create the right spot from which other things need to be done - meaning without the correct Spearer placement first, the correct position to assign a given other skill does not exist yet.

This is one of the reasons I don't like this skill, and for me would be a strong argument against it.

It's worth pointing out that creating ledges for other skills to start from is a particular strength of the Spearer, but not unique to it -- we can already do this with bombers (and indeed that's one of my favourite uses of bombers -- see for example "Close to the Edge" in the Lix community set), and it's also possible with grenaders (see the level I posted, "You Scratch My Brick").

So even if that's your personal opinion, and I can see how the Grenader might indeed "tip the balance away from high-precision solutions", not because of the arc, but because its crater is quite big and also irregularly shaped:

It is now, but of course that's still up for debate if the Grenader gets accepted. I, for one, will strongly push for the Grenader to be given a circular crater. But the present discussion isn't the place for that. I'm just saying -- and this applies to all four new skills -- don't assume that the current implementation is exactly what we'll end up with; the details are still up for debate and possible change.

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #54 on: December 07, 2020, 02:09:36 AM »
Quote
It is now, but of course that's still up for debate if the Grenader gets accepted. I, for one, will strongly push for the Grenader to be given a circular crater.

Created a separate topic for this point (as well as another, closely-related one): https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=5262.0

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #55 on: December 07, 2020, 08:55:01 AM »
I don't really get the "projectiles create pixel precise levels" comments. ???

The arc is shown with a skill shadow and the result of the impact will be as well later. Also, why should most throws be precise? Even in my test levels there was usually tons of leeway given!

You can make every skill pixel precise if you want to! If you only use pixel precise assignments then this rather shows bad level design than a deficit of a skill.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #56 on: December 07, 2020, 09:02:50 AM »
Quote
It's worth pointing out that creating ledges for other skills to start from is a particular strength of the Spearer, but not unique to it -- we can already do this with bombers (and indeed that's one of my favourite uses of bombers -- see for example "Close to the Edge" in the Lix community set), and it's also possible with grenaders (see the level I posted, "You Scratch My Brick").

I should also point out here the most obvious example of all, and perhaps the most comparable: Stoners.

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #57 on: December 07, 2020, 09:18:22 AM »
Quote
It's worth pointing out that creating ledges for other skills to start from is a particular strength of the Spearer, but not unique to it -- we can already do this with bombers (and indeed that's one of my favourite uses of bombers -- see for example "Close to the Edge" in the Lix community set), and it's also possible with grenaders (see the level I posted, "You Scratch My Brick").

Both stoner and bomber miss the range aspect though. One of the main reasons the projectile skills were proposed in the first place. With both stoner and bomber you have to get a lemming exactly to the point you want to create a ledge. The projectile skills do not have this precondition.

I also think that there is a big difference in creating a ledge through a crater and through the creation of terrain. With the creation of terrain you can immediately drop onto it while the crater needs a lemming to get inside.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #58 on: December 07, 2020, 11:26:54 AM »
Quote
I don't really get the "projectiles create pixel precise levels" comments.

To clarify, I was specifically referring to the Spearer here; for the Grenader, WillLem and I agree that it is a less pixel-precise skill than many others. ;)

Quote
I didn't say I expect every level designer to be capable of backroute fixing, please don't put words in my mouth. The point I was making is that the skill itself is not necessarily a cause of unfixable backroutes; it just means that designers have to find other ways to backroute-proof their levels if they're choosing to provide Grenadiers in the skillset. One simple way would be to make the OWW thicker than the grenade blast (that's just one idea, I'm sure that there are many, many others).

Yes, and those "other ways to backroute-proof their levels", if not on the skillset side, are usually on the terrain side. ;) One-way arrows being the main thing until the designer is forced to resort to steel.

Sure, you can make one-way walls thicker... or you can make the Grenader's crater smaller. ;)

Wasn't that the original intention of the Grenader anyway? I remember the "dent the ceiling to stop Shimmiers" discussion. A "dent" to me sounds like a Bomber's crater at max. (Probably like an actual Bomber standing upside down on the ceiling, like in a Lemmings-Revolution gravity-reversal scenario; if you currently bomb a Shimmier, that crater is even smaller. So I'd be fine with a standard "inverse" Bomber crater in the ceiling if the grenade hits it). What the Grenader currently produces is more of a cavern than a dent! :lem-mindblown:

If the crater is smaller, the Grenader still retains the other upsides over the Bomber - namely, its range and being non-lethal. But it immediately becomes less backroute-prone
, because you'd have to chain many more Grenaders into each other to blast through the same one-way wall than now, where providing 1 or 2 Grenaders on the skill panel can already be "too much" to make your average one-way wall of 16 to 32 pixels width safe.

Personally, if the danger should arise that the Grenader might get dropped completely, before that happens, I'd rather just see its crater shrunk to what many of us probably had in mind originally. ;) The craters created by the Bazooker and Mortar in L2 are also not much larger than those created by Bombers/Exploders.

Finally, also just within NeoLemmix, the terrain created by the spear is much smaller than the terrain destroyed by the Grenader. Maybe that's the main reason for their difference in power/backroute potential. If the spear were as long as e.g. an entire Platformer bridge, it would also cause many more backroutes. :evil:

This is not me calling for the spear to be longer, of course - instead, it's me using the relatively short length of the spear as yet another argument to shrink the Grenader's crater.

And then, there's the flavour argument: Why should an actual Bomb cause a smaller crater than a Grenade? ^^
(Yes, sure, the "Bomber" is not technically a bomb, but more of a lemming wearing an explosive belt, but still, it's in the name...)
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Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #59 on: December 07, 2020, 01:58:20 PM »
The arc is shown with a skill shadow and the result of the impact will be as well later. Also, why should most throws be precise? Even in my test levels there was usually tons of leeway given!
---
You can make every skill pixel precise if you want to! If you only use pixel precise assignments then this rather shows bad level design than a deficit of a skill.

Interestingly, this is the exact same argument I'm using against "this skill is backroute-prone". That is, every skill is backroute-prone; it depends on the design of the level, the ability of the player, and a whole host of other difficult-to-predict factors. Therefore, saying "this skill is pixel-precise" is exactly as absurd as saying "this skill is backroute-prone". Neither statement is necessarily true, as it depends on many other variables.

That being the case, I retract my statements regarding pixel-precision as an argument against the Spearer, in the same way that I still don't believe that the Grenadier is necessarily "backroute-prone", and to give marks against it in this regard seems unfair. How is it any more backroute-prone than any other skill?
« Last Edit: December 07, 2020, 02:06:32 PM by WillLem »

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #60 on: December 07, 2020, 05:18:54 PM »
Quote
That being the case, I retract my statements regarding pixel-precision as an argument against the Spearer, in the same way that I still don't believe that the Grenadier is necessarily "backroute-prone", and to give marks against it in this regard seems unfair. How is it any more backroute-prone than any other skill?

Some skills are absolutely more backroute-prone than others, and this is not really debatable - it's well established over years of level designing. Walker, Builder and Stoner (and in L3D's case, Turner) are the worst offenders. Yes - you can often modify a level to make it backroute resistant; this does not change that some skills lend themselves more to causing backroutes than others do. Yes, basically every skill can lead to backroutes, but think about how many backroutes revolve around eg. a Floater or a Swimmer or even a Digger; compared to how many revolve around the higher-risk skills mentioned before.

What is still debatable is where Grenaders (and the other skills) fall on this spectrum, and how mitigatable their risks are. And indeed, modifications to the skill's physics to reduce that risk are an option if the current iteration is deemed to be too broken - it is not a matter of "the implementation as it stands right now must meet expectations".

One thing I will make clear is that I do consider this to be an important point. NeoLemmix's main focus is on puzzles; a skill that does not lend itself well to this, no matter how fun it is and/or how well it lends itself to open-ended exploratory and/or execution difficulty levels, is not a suitable fit for NeoLemmix. Going into this, the Grenader was my favorite of the skills, so this is not that I am "biased" against it in any way - it's that I genuine have concerns about this point with regards to it. Assertions that "this doesn't matter" or even more so that "all skills are backroute prone" (which ignores the difference in extent of how backroute prone some are compared to others) are ultimately going to be meaningless - if the evidence points to that it is a high risk skill and little is offered in the way of reasonable mitigations that don't give away the solution; then ultimately the skill is very likely to be rejected no matter how many assertions have been made that "this doesn't matter". But again, let me be very clear - I am not at this stage saying "the Grenader is too broken and must be rejected". All I am saying is that this line of questioning needs to be explored further - and that while the Grenader is my biggest concern, it should be explored for all four skills to be safe.

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #61 on: December 07, 2020, 06:19:55 PM »
Here's an example level in which a Grenadier causes an obvious backroute. And, two different ways to fix that backroute, the first of which presents the exact same intended solution, and the second of which makes minor changes to the solution, but still retains the general spirit of it.

Admittedly, the second solution is not quite as elegant as the first, as one of the neat things about this level is the two sides working together - and the second solution prevents that altogether, but bear in mind that this is just to show that there are multiple ways of dealing with this backroute, one of which preserves the intended solution, and the other of which makes minor changes to it.

The point here is, of course, that even if a skill causes a backroute, there are plenty of ways to fix it.

Also, the other more subtle point that I'm making here is that it is impossible to say without extensive evidence that a skill is prone to backroutes. We may know that Walkers, Stoners, Builders etc are more backroute-prone than other skills, but that is likely due to months and years of experience working with those skills.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2020, 07:12:44 PM by WillLem »

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #62 on: December 07, 2020, 06:33:45 PM »
But again, let me be very clear - I am not at this stage saying "the Grenader is too broken and must be rejected". All I am saying is that this line of questioning needs to be explored further - and that while the Grenader is my biggest concern, it should be explored for all four skills to be safe.

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #63 on: December 07, 2020, 06:41:04 PM »
But again, let me be very clear - I am not at this stage saying "the Grenader is too broken and must be rejected". All I am saying is that this line of questioning needs to be explored further - and that while the Grenader is my biggest concern, it should be explored for all four skills to be safe.

OK, to progress the discussion from the point of view that backroute-proneness is an issue which needs to be addressed, so far I have presented evidence that the Grenadier is not un-fixably backroute-prone.

Also, I'm not just trying to protect the inclusion of the Grenadier skill, I'm making this point for the sake of any and all skills: there's no way to prove that a skill is backroute-prone without first demonstrating it to be so in such a way that is non-fixable.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2020, 07:03:33 PM by WillLem »

Offline Proxima

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #64 on: December 07, 2020, 07:42:58 PM »
Wasn't that the original intention of the Grenader anyway? I remember the "dent the ceiling to stop Shimmiers" discussion. A "dent" to me sounds like a Bomber's crater at max.

No, it wasn't. The original intention was simply to have a skill capable of causing a bomber-like explosion at a distance, and stopping shimmiers was just one possible application I thought of.

I absolutely did not intend to imply that I thought of the Grenader having an especially small crater, and one careless word choice by one person does not mean "many of us" thought of it that way.

* * *

Also, I'm not just trying to protect the inclusion of the Grenadier skill, I'm making this point for the sake of any and all skills: there's no way to prove that a skill is backroute-prone without first demonstrating it to be so in such a way that is non-fixable.

No, that's a non-sequitur. A skill being backroute-prone is an issue even if the backroutes are ultimately fixable, because backroute-fixing is already time-intensive, both on the part of the designer and that of testers, and we would like to keep that under control as much as possible. Also, backroute-fixing often leads to other problems, either aesthetic or giving the player signposts to the correct solution.

Regarding the Grenader specifically, I've already made my suggestion for how to rein it in: give it a shorter arc so you can't destroy terrain at point X from halfway across the level. I would apply this to the Spearer as well. My preliminary suggestion is that the height should remain the same and the width should be roughly 3/4 of what it currently is, but if we got the chance to try that out I might end up suggesting further tweaks; it's also possible we should have different-sized arcs for the two skills.

However, I don't think it's a huge problem and I would be happy with the Grenader and Spearer as skills if we got them in their current versions.

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #65 on: December 08, 2020, 12:13:33 PM »
No, that's a non-sequitur.

Yeah, I can be prone to those. Unicorns are awesome; I am awesome, therefore I am a unicorn :lemcat:

A skill being backroute-prone is an issue even if the backroutes are ultimately fixable, because backroute-fixing is already time-intensive... and we would like to keep that under control as much as possible. Also, backroute-fixing often leads to other problems, either aesthetic or giving the player signposts to the correct solution.

Fair point, I can see why it's an issue now. I just don't want to not have the skill just because it might cause backroutes. I personally don't really mind backroutes, I quite enjoy seeing people's ingenuity in finding a solution that's unintended, and it can often lead to interesting talismans or memorable levels with infamous shortcuts. So, skills that lend themselves to those sorts of situations are OK in the Book of WillLem :lemcat:

However, I don't think it's a huge problem and I would be happy with the Grenader and Spearer as skills if we got them in their current versions.

Agreed. Although, if tweaking them slightly is what's needed to keep them in the roster, then that's fine too - bring it on!

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #66 on: December 08, 2020, 01:57:19 PM »
Quote
Regarding the Grenader specifically, I've already made my suggestion for how to rein it in: give it a shorter arc so you can't destroy terrain at point X from halfway across the level. I would apply this to the Spearer as well. My preliminary suggestion is that the height should remain the same and the width should be roughly 3/4 of what it currently is, but if we got the chance to try that out I might end up suggesting further tweaks; it's also possible we should have different-sized arcs for the two skills.

Shortening the range does something, but it also has at least two side effects:
- if the Spearer is affected by the range change as well, it will become significantly weaker (and I don't currently consider the Spearer overpowered)
- shortening the range of the Grenader still doesn't prevent the player from using it in one of its most backrouty applications, imho: walking up to a one-way wall from the opposing side (like a regular Bomber) and then going straight through it, since a) the crater is bigger and b) no lemming dies, so it can't be stopped by adjusting the save requirement (and also, with several grenaders, the same lemming can do it several times in a row)

Quote
However, I don't think it's a huge problem and I would be happy with the Grenader and Spearer as skills if we got them in their current versions.

Yes, me too. ;) I'm probably just extra-cautious at the moment, because people kept backrouting my level "Nemesis" from Lemmings Open Air with Bombers alone already - and that wasn't even a particularly thin one-way wall. ;)

In one of my own Grenader levels, "Thus spoke Zarathustra", I had to resort to making the Grenader a pickup skill and placing it on the other side of the one-way wall in order to prevent such shortcuts.
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Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #67 on: December 09, 2020, 12:43:05 AM »
- shortening the range of the Grenader still doesn't prevent the player from using it in one of its most backrouty applications, imho: walking up to a one-way wall from the opposing side (like a regular Bomber) and then going straight through it

This is precisely the issue that I've addressed here. TL;DR - just make the OWW thicker :eyeroll:
« Last Edit: December 09, 2020, 12:52:05 AM by WillLem »

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #68 on: December 09, 2020, 09:09:09 AM »
Well, "thicker" in this case means "always thicker than the maximum area of destruction all Grenaders on the skill panel could cause when chained back-to-back this way". That can be quite thick... ;)

Unless of course the crater is smaller than it is now :P .
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Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #69 on: December 09, 2020, 02:07:48 PM »
Well, "thicker" in this case means "always thicker than the maximum area of destruction all Grenaders on the skill panel could cause when chained back-to-back this way". That can be quite thick... ;)

I had a feeling this would be your response. To be fair, if a level is going to feature enough Grenaders as to place a thick OWW at risk of being backrouted, then I'd be questioning whether the level needs that many Grenaders, or whether another skill could be used instead of some of them. Or, if all of the Grenaders are absolutely needed elsewhere in the solution, then the player can't use them to break through the OWW anyway.

Again - any skill is backroute prone in large enough quantities. Most (i.e. not all) of the difficult, one-solution-only puzzles (that I've encountered so far) tend to give no more than about 3 of each skill. Any more than that, and the level starts to become more and more open ended anyway.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #70 on: December 09, 2020, 02:13:49 PM »
Those statements are true, but these are existence claims (any skill is prone to backroutes in large quantities) that disguise this quantitative difference. ;)

A singular Stoner can cause backroutes in the wrong position by simply creating a new position in thin air from which to build or platform - but that requires those other skills to interact with the Stoner. In a level e.g. without any or with just a few other creative skills, a Stoner can do much less damage. You'd have to rely on Stoner staircases then, which are very inefficient in covering both vertical and horizontal distances, cost lots of lemming lives, and indeed require a high quantity of Stoners (say, usually 10 and above) to be an option anyway.

I'm picking the Stoner for comparison here because it's one of the most backrout-y other skills.

For the Grenader, in contrast, with the current large crater, a "high quantity of Grenaders" can mean as little as 2 or 3. ;)
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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #71 on: December 09, 2020, 02:18:45 PM »
I don't think an alteration to the crater size to make it smaller would be too much of a nerf. It would require less padding of one-way walls in the situation Strato is talking about, while still maintaining nearly all of the utility - if you're just trying to get through a wall, there's other skills that would probably be better choices, as let's be honest, the level where you blow up the sand castle in Lemmings 2 is not very interesting, and with NeoLemmix's focus on removing as much execution difficulty as possible any comparable levels would be even less interesting. The interactions are more dependent on the shape of the crater than its size.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #72 on: December 09, 2020, 02:24:31 PM »
Thanks, Dullstar, I couldn't have said it better! :thumbsup: The main interactions I was looking forward to with regards to the Grenader were indeed denting the ceiling to stop Shimmiers and denting walls to break falls from above or create niches for Climbers to go into to do other stuff from there (bash into the wall, build out of it etc.).

Sure, throwing a grenade into the side of a wall, removing a big chunk that frees a Blocker, that is fun - but even that should still be possible with a smaller crater. The Blocker just needs to be placed a little closer to the edge of the wall, instead of the grenade removing half the wall. :D
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Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #73 on: December 09, 2020, 02:29:57 PM »
For the Grenader, in contrast, with the current large crater, a "high quantity of Grenaders" can mean as little as 2 or 3. ;)

So far, I have created a level which demonstrates that Grenaders + OWW = Not A Problem.

If you can create a level which requires a sufficient enough quantity of Grenaders to be used, in such a way that the level could be backrouted if they were instead used on a OWW, then I'll be happy to concede the point. Until then, we're essentially discussing some hypothetical level situation which doesn't even exist and, to be honest, is quite difficult to imagine.

We have the luxury of an experimental for testing these skills - prove your point! ;P

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #74 on: December 09, 2020, 10:19:21 PM »
Quote from: WillLem
So far, I have created a level which demonstrates that Grenaders + OWW = Not A Problem.

This one level that you keep pointing back at doesn't prove that "Grenaders + OWW = Not A Problem", for several reasons:

a) You only used a single Grenader, i.e. the minimum amount, not 2 or 3 as I stated in my post - which would be the minimum required to make statements about several Grenaders in one level :P
b) Consequently, the example you used to demonstrate the backroute used a stripe of terrain so thin that the backroute could already have been achieved with a regular Bomber. The issue of the difference in crater size is therefore being left out.
c) Even if a) and b) weren't present and your level were indeed a perfect example of a level where a given number of several Grenaders doesn't create a backroute through the one-way arrows, it would still be just that: A single example. Not a proof that this is not an issue in general.

Quote from: WillLem
If you can create a level which requires a sufficient enough quantity of Grenaders to be used, in such a way that the level could be backrouted if they were instead used on a OWW, then I'll be happy to concede the point. Until then, we're essentially discussing some hypothetical level situation which doesn't even exist and, to be honest, is quite difficult to imagine.

We have the luxury of an experimental for testing these skills - prove your point!

In fact, I have already made such a level, the one called "Pictures at an exhibition": If the Grenader weren't a pickup skill (and pickup skills are the absolute last resort to fix backroutes, even after one-way arrows, because they usually give away even more about the solution), one could simply go straight through the one-way wall next to the hatch and skip the entire beginning part. I will grant though that this particular level is not an optimal example, because the Grenader is indeed the skill which you're supposed to use to get through that wall - just from the other side. This particular solution is therefore something that we will never be able to enforce about the Grenader.

But to accept your "challenge", I've created a second level containing four Grenaders, each of which is supposed to go into a different spot. However, they can also be used to go straight through the wall. And I can't really make the wall thicker, because then it blocks the position from which the lemming needs to throw the first grenade in the intended solution.

In fact, I've even found a second Grenader backroute that is even harder to fix, because it's independent of the thickness of the wall. (And the intended solution actually requires the pioneer to throw a grenade over said wall, which is another reason why I can't make it too thick.)


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« Last Edit: December 09, 2020, 10:37:41 PM by Strato Incendus »
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Offline IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #75 on: December 09, 2020, 10:29:57 PM »
I haven't looked at the level yet, but have you tried to modify the wall in a way so that the big grenader crater will ruin the solution.

Example: The OWW shall be destroyed by a basher.

- Make a thin floor with water below so that an explosion too close will lead to death.

- Make a few zombie prison cells a bit upwards over the supposed basher tunnel in the block so that the bigger explosion will dent+release them.

 

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #76 on: December 09, 2020, 10:48:40 PM »
First and foremost, I had to edit this level again to prevent another backroute, this time involving the Slider. What we need to keep in mind is that now, when providing Shimmiers in combination with Sliders, 90° angles are suddenly Shimmier-friendly. :evil: However, while the Slider is a permanent skill, every 90°-transition from Shimmier to Slider requires another instance of a Shimmier to transition back from Slider to Shimmier once he reaches the next 90° angle. So this is how you can keep those paths in check.

I've added a steel square to prevent the Slider shortcut; nothing that inteferes with the intended solution nor either of the backroutes.

Quote from: IchoTolot
- Make a thin floor with water below so that an explosion too close will lead to death.

- Make a few zombie prison cells a bit upwards over the supposed basher tunnel in the block so that the bigger explosion will dent+release them.

Those are good suggestions, IchoTolot - indeed I've seen these applied a couple of times to fix Bomber backroutes.
;) Or at least "Bomber backroutes that only continue to work if you can make the lemming a Climber before" (like the example with the thin floor and water underneath).

With the Grenader, however, because you can vary the height of the impact depending on from where you throw, it's more like the player always has the choice between "walking Bomber" (=grenade close up to the wall) and "climbing Bomber" (=grenade thrown from further away).

The Zombie approach would require the Zombies to be inside the one-way wall, at such a height that indeed the grenade would free them but the Basher wouldn't. Since that is going to look quite ugly, and the Zombies will be completely irrelevant to the intended solution, I would consider this another "last resort" on par with making the Grenader a pickup skill.

In this particular level, one could not make all Grenaders a pickup skill, because one is required right at the start. However, of course some of them could be made into pickups.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

As I said, I'm not even that strongly opposed to the current Grenader crater size and shape (funnily enough, in this level I noticed that when you throw strictly from above and hit the ground with the grenade, the crater does actually look pretty circular already). Personally, I would still accept the Grenader as it is right now and be perfectly happy about it.

We just need to be very aware of its dangers, and that indeed, such "last resort" measures as almost making Grenaders pickup skills by default on most levels where they appear (which would at least be in-flavour, gotta pick up the grenade before you can use it :D ), or placing Zombies at awkward spots, might be required more often than not to keep those levels backroute-proof.
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Offline IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #77 on: December 09, 2020, 10:59:04 PM »
Quote
The Zombie approach would require the Zombies to be inside the one-way wall, at such a height that indeed the grenade would free them but the Basher wouldn't. Since that is going to look quite ugly, and the Zombies will be completely irrelevant to the intended solution, I would consider this another "last resort" on par with making the Grenader a pickup skill.

Let's just say if you don't want to use pick-ups, zombies,..... some backroutes won't be fixable. This is a general rule for all skills!

At some point you just want too much in a level, parts and tricks that are not compatible as they wil ALWAYS result in backroutes. I've had this sooo many times! I needed to include pick-ups in a lot of level or otherwise they would not have been fixable.

Some things simply do not work out without those extra little tools - especially pick-ups. It's just how it is.

So be aware of that if you want to strictly limit yourself. Sometimes an intented solution is just too ambitious.

On another note: Don't forget to check out my slider+spearer combo level. This should be a more efficient+faster containment method compared to your earlier method with an extra builder  ;)

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #78 on: December 10, 2020, 12:37:25 AM »
Quote from: Strato
But to accept your "challenge", I've created a second level containing four Grenaders, each of which is supposed to go into a different spot.

Awesome! This is a neat little level. To be fair, I'd say that backroute 2 is just as satisfying a solution as what's intended, albeit simpler (and could make the level a lot smaller).

Anyways, thank you for providing this level; now we have an actual example that we can discuss. I've attached a possible fix which preserves your intended solution. Whilst I will admit that I had to spend a bit of time figuring out how to make it so that the Grenade could reach from the other side of a thicker OWW, it was otherwise a very easy fix.

Anyway, you have proven your point - I did have to spend time fixing this backroute, and that's what we're trying to prevent here, so I will concede.

However, this level was built under the condition of proving this point. If the same level were being built from scratch, surely the first thing the designer would do is make sure that the OWW is thick enough so that 4 Grenaders couldn't get through it! ;P Everything else could then simply be designed around that.

Quote from: Strato
With the Grenader, however, because you can vary the height of the impact depending on from where you throw,

So, make the wall shorter. If anything, this is a good argument for keeping the larger crater! ;P

Quote from: Strato
Personally, I would still accept the Grenader as it is right now and be perfectly happy about it.

I think this is something we can all agree on :lemcat:

Quote from: Strato
The Zombie approach would... look quite ugly... I would consider this another "last resort" on par with making the Grenader a pickup skill.

I agree here. I've recently ditched a few levels because the backroute-proofing was getting way too complicated and distracting. If that's happening though, it probably isn't a very good level anyway!

Quote from: Icho
Let's just say if you don't want to use pick-ups, zombies,..... some backroutes won't be fixable. This is a general rule for all skills!
...
Sometimes an intented solution is just too ambitious.

Amen! 8-) :thumbsup:
« Last Edit: December 10, 2020, 12:51:07 AM by WillLem »

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #79 on: December 10, 2020, 09:03:18 AM »
Thanks for your suggestion of a backroute fix, WillLem! :thumbsup: I was a little concerned about the lowered height at first, because I thought that was necessary to enforce the Slider use instead of just jumping over. But because I had increased the width of the gap on the left long after I had increased the level height, the Slider is now needed either way because the Jumper would just land in the fire trap, even though the fall height by itself would be survivable.

The remaining Basher was just because apparently, I made a double-assignment in my intended solution. That could be prevented in backroute 2 (despite me throwing the grenade straight at the Blocker and then bashing, instead of throwing it infront of the Blocker and then bashing to free him, as you did). So it's not like that additional Basher were absolutely required to keep anyone from the crowd from slipping out.

Quote from: WillLem
However, this level was built under the condition of proving this point. If the same level were being built from scratch, surely the first thing the designer would do is make sure that the OWW is thick enough so that 4 Grenaders couldn't get through it! ;P Everything else could then simply be designed around that.

Yes, confirmation bias is a thing, which is why I was a little sceptical about this challenge in the first place, because you gave me an obvious incentive to do a bad job at backroute fixing :P . But I didn't want to just dismiss the challenge on those grounds, and I didn't want to make it too easy for myself. Therefore, I made sure each of the four grenades had a proper, intended use in the level, instead of just providing excess Grenaders so that you would have enough to get through the wall (because excess skills, this is where we all agree, can always lead to backroutes, no matter which skill type).

Quote from: IchoTolot
Some things simply do not work out without those extra little tools - especially pick-ups. It's just how it is.

So be aware of that if you want to strictly limit yourself. Sometimes an intented solution is just too ambitious.

I like the term "ambitious" solutions here! :thumbsup: So far, I just called them solutions that were more complicated than any backroute one could find. But this is a much nicer and more concise term! ;)

When in doubt, I'd personally rather resort to pickup skills than to contained Zombies. This "don't bomb here or you'll release the Zombies" approach to me is more like "don't bomb here or a deadly liquid will spill on the lemmings' heads". It's just that water or lava doesn't spill out when you remove the ground underneath it. Therefore, water can only prevent bombing from below, whereas Zombies are one of the few ways to prevent bombing from above.

Quote from: IchoTolot
On another note: Don't forget to check out my slider+spearer combo level. This should be a more efficient+faster containment method compared to your earlier method with an extra builder

I had already watched it on YouTube long before you pointed to it here on the forums :P . I also commented on your video, you might just not have seen it yet? ;)
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Pit Lems (Old Formats), a more puzzly one, 100 levels - Let's Played by nin10doadict
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Offline IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #80 on: December 10, 2020, 10:10:15 AM »
Quote
I had already watched it on YouTube long before you pointed to it here on the forums :P . I also commented on your video, you might just not have seen it yet?

Let's say YouTube thought it would be a good idea to put it inside the spam section and give me no notification. :devil:

Offline WillLem

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Re: [LEVELS] New skills levels
« Reply #81 on: December 10, 2020, 10:16:00 PM »
Nice levels, NieSch!

Don't Get Cold Feet is a really nice, neat little puzzle! It took me a while to get the
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
correct, but I got there in the end!

My solution to Bookends to the Rescue is possibly a backroute...

Offline NieSch

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #82 on: December 11, 2020, 07:58:08 AM »
Thanks! Yes, backroute to the first version I posted. There's a V2 that fixes it.

I really like the long distance interactions that the grenader and spearer provide. And the slider just looks great. :D
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Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #83 on: December 23, 2020, 09:49:40 AM »
Just a quick heads up: How long is the experimental phase planned to last again, anyway? ;)

NeoLemmix 12.10 was released some time in November, as far as I recall, so I would assume it will at least take the entirety of January until we might be heading towards a release candidate. Of course, even longer if certain physics questions etc. still need to be discussed. But at the moment (not just right now before Christmas, but also in the last 1-2 weeks), the opposite seems to be the case: The discussion has become rather quiet.
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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 IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #84 on: December 23, 2020, 01:34:34 PM »
Patience!

We just had the new release and still need to adjust/try out some alternative set-ups of the skills.

For example we are still discussing the range of the laser and that needs to be tested as well.

Quote
But at the moment (not just right now before Christmas, but also in the last 1-2 weeks), the opposite seems to be the case: The discussion has become rather quiet.

Take a guess on why. :8():

People are working on christmas packs, traveling home, or have other things to do.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #85 on: December 24, 2020, 01:12:46 PM »
Replays for namida's levels. The only one I'm sure isn't a backroute is "Pedantic Phaser", because when I sent the last replay it was confirmed as intended, and the solution hasn't changed :lemcat:

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #86 on: December 24, 2020, 07:20:45 PM »
Replays for WillLem's Fun-type levels. This was definitely an interesting way to get accustomed to what the new skills feel like. I have to say that in Fun-type levels, spearers and grenaders in particular can give rise to spammy solutions that get tiresome rather quickly... but this is still a great way to get a feel for what the skills can do, which helps to get me very excited for the kinds of puzzles that can be built with them!

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #87 on: December 26, 2020, 10:02:38 AM »
As a Christmas treat, I did an LP of Proxima's "Amethyst" levels featuring the new skills. Here's the video; it's edited for presentation but I deliberately kept in some of the moments when I was struggling with placements/assignments in order to highlight potential issues with the new skills.

For the most part, all 4 function very effectively and I can see them being excellent additions to NeoLemmix's roster of skills, with perhaps a bit more tweaking.

Feedback on the levels:

These are a great set of not-too-difficult puzzles to play through and get used to the various basic applications of the 4 new skills. I would have personally preferred less restrictive skillsets much of the time, but I can certainly see the benefit in being made to think more carefully about how to place the skill assignments.

The maps are absolutely beautiful. As well as being aesthetically very well presented and pleasingly reminiscent of the original games, they're also the sorts of maps which you could theoretically assign a range of different skillsets to and find a workable puzzle. That being the case, I anticipate that GemLems will be a great pack for challenges, remixes and all sorts of good stuff in the future.

It's good that you're taking your time with the pack, Proxima. You have a careful artist's hand and the love you've put into these designs is evident. Keep up the good work!

My favourite maps: "Four Bar Blues" / "Bashenberg" / "Solid Gold" / "For Flopsy" / "For Arty" / "In The Gallery Of Frost"
My favourite puzzles: "Fall Of The Roman Lempire" / "Drop Box" / "Doing The Lembeth Walk" / "In The Gallery Of Frost"

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #88 on: December 26, 2020, 10:03:22 AM »
Whilst LPing Proxima's pack of new-skills levels, I noticed that Spears still change position after having been thrown, and when framestepping.

I've timestamped the video here so you can see what I mean: watch the spear bridge carefully when I perform a backwards frameskip.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #89 on: December 26, 2020, 03:16:45 PM »
Thank you WillLem for the LP and feedback! :thumbsup:

A little bit of trivia about these levels:

* Level 1 "Ascension Day" is the only level with a different title from its GemLems counterpart. It was originally "It's time to climb", but I changed that because the new-skills version doesn't give any climbers :P
* A couple of levels have had the trapdoor or exit moved to accommodate the space needed for spearer/grenader arcs.
* Other than this, the only layout change is in Level 6 "Bashenberg", where I removed the proxima_tile fire object because the new-skills exp only accepts the original and ohno styles.
* Level 12 "For Flopsy" is a riff on the "hard-for-Flopsy" meme (levels with RR 99 and lemmings heading for immediate danger). This level meets the letter of those requirements, but isn't hard at all.
* Levels 19 "In the Gallery of Frost" and 20 "The Social Network" are consecutive levels in the Crystal style. However, in GemLems, those are levels 21 and 25 respectively. Levels 22 and 24 were cut for using non-original tilesets, and Level 23 for being a splat trapdoor level (the one instance where sliders can't substitute for floaters).

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #90 on: December 26, 2020, 05:06:08 PM »
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Solved "Eternal Flame," plus scored 100% on "Morning Rescue" :)

Still can't figure out "Keep Off The Grass", though; managed to save 8 by using
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
, but there's clearly something that I'm missing with regards to this one...

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #91 on: December 26, 2020, 06:06:09 PM »
Okay, I notice that people are starting to refer to their new-skills levels collections as "packs". :D Mobius also called my own selection of levels that, even though I didn't intend them to be (in fact, the four Pillar levels would end up in a different pack than the one Marble level I made). WillLem has even made an LP of one of these packs already, and Proxima just provided some background info on some of the levels, like in a creator's-commentary series.

I'm not saying this is a bad thing. I'm just interpreting this as people getting somewhat emotionally attached to the levels they made
with these new skills, before any of them have actually been confirmed yet.

Or... can we take this as silent community consensus that the four skills should all be introduced, and we're only discussing about the physics details now? ;)


@mobius: Your solution to "Microcosm" is an alternative one; I don't think one-way arrows can do much to enforce my intended one, because that intended solution requires two Laserers in opposite directions. Your solution to "Boom! Beer Me" doesn't work on my latest version of the level (V5). Maybe you still played an earlier one? The pioneer lemming slides back into the water and dies if I run your replay.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2020, 06:15:18 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
Lemmings Open Air, my newest release and follow-up to World Tour, 120 levels
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] New skills general discussion
« Reply #92 on: December 26, 2020, 06:25:26 PM »
I'm just interpreting this as people getting somewhat emotionally attached to the levels they made with these new skills, before any of them have actually been confirmed yet.

Eh, not on my part. While the layouts are from GemLems and have had a lot of care put into them, the new-skills versions are just for playing around and getting to know the new skills better, and there's no question of keeping them or ever putting them in a pack. (And the trivia post mostly consists of comparisons with the GemLems originals, to tease people about that pack....)

"You Scratch My Brick", though, I am happy with, and will probably donate it to the community pack if we do end up keeping all the new skills.

Quote
Or... can we take this as silent community consensus that the four skills should all be introduced, and we're only discussing about the physics details now? ;)

I mean, it looks like we've largely had vocal consensus that all four skills should be kept for some time now, with only kaywhyn (as far as I've noticed) being a doubter (and I guess you could say me, but I only doubt the Laserer, and that one seems to be the most likely to be kept...).

However, ultimately it's up to namida, and he knows a lot more than we do about behind-the-scenes difficulties the new skills might cause, so I will accept his decision even if it's not the one I want.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2020, 06:32:09 PM by Proxima »

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #93 on: December 26, 2020, 11:06:00 PM »
Quote
Or... can we take this as silent community consensus that the four skills should all be introduced, and we're only discussing about the physics details now? ;)

None of them are decided for sure yet, not even the laserer (yes, I've said it's "very likely" to make the cut; I haven't said it's "certain" to).

Offline kaywhyn

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #94 on: December 26, 2020, 11:13:27 PM »
I mean, it looks like we've largely had vocal consensus that all four skills should be kept for some time now, with only kaywhyn (as far as I've noticed) being a doubter (and I guess you could say me, but I only doubt the Laserer, and that one seems to be the most likely to be kept...).

Doubter isn't very accurate here to describe my take, especially since you based it off on how I simply only posted once about the new skills. Undecided would had been a better way to describe my stance on the new skills, in particular the spearer and the grenader. I'm still of the belief that if the new skills do make it in, it should be a maximum of two new skills added. This means that I'm happy with 0, 1, or 2 new skills making it in. Definitely no more than 2. I'm quite content with the 19 skills we currently have, including the shimmier and the jumper which are the most recent new additions that are currently in the stable release and which I felt are great additions to NL. If two new skills are to make it in, then my vote goes towards the laserer and the slider, as these seem to be quite simple compared to the other two. It's mostly due to how in my eyes the game is already quite complex, especially since Neolemmix adds far more than the engines that only support the 8 classic skills.

I simply haven't cared too much about playing around with the new skills in the new levels in the experimental as much as some people, let alone thought about the new skills too much. I have played and solved several of the new skills levels, and I was going to give feedback on the skills after I have solved everything from way back in the last week of November, but some I haven't been able to solve. I haven't really came back to those levels since, so I think it's more that I gave up in frustration, especially with the levels that involve the spearer. In my eyes, I still think the skill is fiddly, but here I think it's more due to how I'm just not so good with using the spearer. In the same way that out of the Neolemmix skills, I tend to have an extremely hard time with levels that provide a lot of stackers.

Quote
However, ultimately it's up to namida, and he knows a lot more than we do about behind-the-scenes difficulties the new skills might cause, so I will accept his decision even if it's not the one I want.

My thoughts exactly.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPMqwuqZ206rBWJrUC6wkrA - My YouTube channel and you can also find my playlists of Lemmings level packs that I have LPed
kaywhyn's blog: https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=5363.0

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #95 on: December 27, 2020, 12:15:42 PM »
Decided to LP my own 8 levels, hopefully this will be useful for showcasing the new skills in action. Also, played through NieSch's 2 levels as a bonus. Enjoy! :lemcat:

Link to video.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #96 on: December 28, 2020, 08:49:18 PM »
Keeping in mind that as we discuss other points, this may change, here is my current guess as to what will be the final outcome for each skill. Again - this is NOT a final judgement, just my leanings at this point. Even more so when taking into account that the skills' workings could still be changed.

Slider (click to show/hide)

Grenader (click to show/hide)

Spearer (click to show/hide)

Laserer (click to show/hide)

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #97 on: December 28, 2020, 09:46:46 PM »
Thanks for the update, namida! I understand your points against the Grenader. I'm just wondering: What makes this skill so much more backroute-prone in NeoLemmix that doesn't apply to the Mortar / Bazooker in Lemmings 2: The Tribes? ;)

If it's just the smaller crater, I'd reiterate that I'd rather have a Grenader with a smaller, Bomber-sized crater than not having it at all. ;)
My packs so far:
Lemmings World Tour (New & Old Formats), my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
Lemmings Open Air, my newest release and follow-up to World Tour, 120 levels
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] New skills general discussion
« Reply #98 on: December 28, 2020, 11:31:38 PM »
Thanks for the update, namida! I understand your points against the Grenader. I'm just wondering: What makes this skill so much more backroute-prone in NeoLemmix that doesn't apply to the Mortar / Bazooker in Lemmings 2: The Tribes? ;)

Maybe it does apply to the L2 skills? Not many people here have ever even tried making custom L2 levels.

That said, one obvious difference -- and it has been mentioned before -- is that the L2 skills have knockback, making them harder to use at close range. Since the Grenader and Spearer are most interesting when used at long range, limiting their short-range capabilities seems like a sensible way to make them less backroute prone. It's just hard to think of a suitable way to do this in NL, since we are certainly not going to introduce knockback.

We've already considered and rejected the other obvious possibility, that a grenader's explosion should be lethal. (And since that would prevent the grenader being used as a blocker-release tool, I would now be against that even if it were still up for discussion.)

I had a brief thought, inspired by the grenade from Worms, that the grenader's projectile could bounce back (or fall straight down) if it hits a wall too soon. But that introduces a weird special case, and would be prone to abuse, and even if it caused fewer backroutes, they would be more pernicious ones because they'd be harder for the designer to spot. (In short, this idea is a complete non-starter.)

Other than that, I can't think of anything. I think we have to accept that if we keep the Grenader, it can be used close up as well as at range. That does make me like it a bit less, but I think it's still very much worth keeping.

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #99 on: December 29, 2020, 12:04:11 AM »
Thanks for the update, namida! I understand your points against the Grenader. I'm just wondering: What makes this skill so much more backroute-prone in NeoLemmix that doesn't apply to the Mortar / Bazooker in Lemmings 2: The Tribes? ;)

Maybe it does apply to the L2 skills? Not many people here have ever even tried making custom L2 levels.

I can't say for sure how things are in L2, but my guess is that Proxima is most likely correct.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #100 on: December 29, 2020, 03:50:41 AM »
One point in favour of the Grenader is that it's the only one of the "NeoLemmix skills" that can create downwards destruction.

However, one distinction between this skill and the Bomber is that it can only create a constantly-downwards path when used at range. Using the Grenader to make a path up close always results in an upwards incline for the path itself. This is of course due to the trajectory of the skill, and is worth keeping in mind when assessing its backroute potential: it is useful up close, but not quite as useful as you might think.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #101 on: December 29, 2020, 04:01:38 AM »
Quote
One point in favour of the Grenader is that it's the only one of the "NeoLemmix skills" that can create downwards destruction.

NeoLemmix has three other skills that can do this - bomber, miner and digger. The fact that they are not unique to NeoLemmix does not make them the slightest bit less relevant in determining "does another skill already cover this?"; they would only be irrelevant if NeoLemmix did not have them at all. (And, if you want to only count skills that are unique to NeoLemmix, the Grenader is similar enough to some L2 skills that it should not count as "unique to NeoLemmix" either. Indeed, the only skills that really can be considered outright unique to NeoLemmix are the Disarmer and the Cloner.)

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #102 on: December 29, 2020, 04:21:42 AM »
NeoLemmix has three other skills that can do this - bomber, miner and digger. The fact that they are not unique to NeoLemmix does not make them the slightest bit less relevant in determining "does another skill already cover this?"

It does for challenge purposes, which is one of the main attractions of NeoLemmix as a platform and therefore worth considering.

EDIT: To clarify, I'm simply using the phrase "NeoLemmix skills" as a shortcut to refer to everything beyond the classic 8. I am well aware that many of these are not, in fact, unique to NeoLemmix, so perhaps I should have been more clear.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2020, 08:01:45 AM by WillLem »

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #103 on: December 29, 2020, 06:24:15 PM »
Sure, but "disallow the original 8" is an arbitrary restriction of one challenge (and a fairly niche one at that), and the fact that such a challenge exists should not in any way be taken into account for deciding which new skills make the cut.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #104 on: December 29, 2020, 08:42:39 PM »
The grenader makes that challenge much more boring anyway IMO

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #105 on: December 29, 2020, 09:09:28 PM »
Let's get back to the issue of crater size for the Grenader.

Assuming that every level which actually requires the player to use Bombers will have a sufficiently low save requirement for all those Bombers to be used, the fact that the Grenader is non-lethal shouldn't play too much of a role in its potential to cause backroutes. Therefore, I would say crater size is the more crucial aspect of the Grenader being a backroute-prone skill.

In other words: Reduce the size of the crater to that of the Bomber, so that the only difference is range and non-lethality, and the backroute potential of the Grenader shouldn't be higher than that of the Bomber, while still adding the new aspect of a throwable destructive range skill.
My packs so far:
Lemmings World Tour (New & Old Formats), my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
Lemmings Open Air, my newest release and follow-up to World Tour, 120 levels
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] New skills general discussion
« Reply #106 on: December 29, 2020, 09:51:42 PM »
The grenader makes that challenge much more boring anyway IMO

(Equally irrelevant to whether or not the Grenader makes the cut; just to be clear.)

Quote
In other words: Reduce the size of the crater to that of the Bomber, so that the only difference is range and non-lethality, and the backroute potential of the Grenader shouldn't be higher than that of the Bomber, while still adding the new aspect of a throwable destructive range skill.

Alright. Let's try this in the next update - making the crater bomber sized. I do wonder if it should be at least a tad larger, so as a sort of compromise here, I'll base it on the bomber's height rather than width (while keeping the circular shape). As always - this doesn't mean we can't go back to larger, or try out based-on-bomber's-width, or any other possible implementations, in a later exp build. EDIT: I didn't realise how close this is to the current size. So, no, we'll go with width, or if that feels too small, the midpoint between the two.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2020, 11:14:41 PM by namida »

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #107 on: December 30, 2020, 02:02:52 AM »
The grenader makes that challenge much more boring anyway IMO

I disagree. I'm looking forward to giving it a go! (I'll likely do the challenge as an experiment before the build expires)

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #108 on: December 30, 2020, 02:01:19 PM »
IchoTolot's newest level once again shows the immense potential of all four skills, and yes, that includes the Grenader! :thumbsup:

Especially the interaction with Neutral Lemmings is a crucial point in favour of adopting all three range skills. Since Neutral Lemmings can't be assigned any skills, so far you pretty much always have to get a lemming over to them in order to free them. But if that's what you have to do, you can pretty much only make the journey of that lemming to the Neutral crowd interesting - otherwise, you might just as well place at least one regular lemming in the Neutral crowd, or make them regular lemmings right from the start.

Range skills however allow the regular lemmings to modify the path for the neutral ones, even while they themselves are doing something completely different. And this forces the player to integrate the solutions for the Neutral and the regular lemmings in parallel.

I haven't seen that many levels featuring Neutral lemmings so far to begin with - maybe the range skills will boost their popularity quite a bit! ;)

Regarding backroute vulnerability of the Grenader: How many genuinely unfixable levels do we have so far? I really mean "not possible to fix them without seriously altering the intended solution", not just "a prior version of this level had a backroute because I overlooked what the Grenader or any other new skill can do, but now it's been dealt with"?

Because even the level I made with the particular intent of demonstrating backroute-prone-ness of the Grenader ("Boom! Beer Me") has been in a backroute-proof state for a while now.
My packs so far:
Lemmings World Tour (New & Old Formats), my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
Lemmings Open Air, my newest release and follow-up to World Tour, 120 levels
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 WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #109 on: December 30, 2020, 02:19:48 PM »
Because even the level I made with the particular intent of demonstrating backroute-prone-ness of the Grenader ("Boom! Beer Me") has been in a backroute-proof state for a while now.

My point exactly (and the reason I challenged Strato to do this in the first place).

We can talk all day and night about how "backroute prone" the Grenader is and how "difficult" it might be to fix the backroutes it causes, and it may even be enjoyable to do so over a few bevvies! But, without actual practical evidence, it's all just speculatory waffle which is potentially holding back a very fun and useful skill! ;P

EDIT: OK, mini-rant over :lemcat:

I can of course see the benefits of discussing the backroute possibilities, since it will hopefully help to improve the skill to a state which is more conducive to its inclusion on the panel! :thumbsup:
« Last Edit: December 30, 2020, 02:25:25 PM by WillLem »

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #110 on: December 30, 2020, 02:34:59 PM »
Following my previous post, it's dawned on me that what's needed to Save The Grenader is in-depth discussion of its various attributes, limitations, and power.

So, question to all those who don't like the Grenader: what would you do to make it better (besides getting rid of it!)?

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #111 on: December 30, 2020, 03:43:43 PM »
Personally I'd make the grenader crater a lot smaller to offset the advantages it has over a bomber, making it more of a strategic thing for stopping climbers/shimmiers and things rather than a destructive skill that's used to get through terrain
« Last Edit: December 30, 2020, 05:28:08 PM by Gronkling »

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #112 on: December 30, 2020, 04:49:31 PM »
I like the crater size as it is, but I don't mind trying out a smaller crater to see what that feels like.

I would, however, reiterate that I believe the arc for both projectile skills should be narrower. It may sound like that would bias things still further towards short-range uses of the skills, but I believe the opposite is the case. It would make long-range uses more user-friendly and thus easier to have as part of a solution. Playing around with them in my Fun-type levels has shown that they need a great deal of space, which not only forces the designer into awkward rearrangement, it leads to Pole Vaulter Syndrome: it's obvious where the skill will be used because it's where you have the open space for it.

Should I make a separate topic for discussion of the arc distance?

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #113 on: December 30, 2020, 05:51:29 PM »
It might be interesting to try going the other way with the crater size, i.e. make it much larger!

I jest, of course ;P

Like Proxima, I too think that the size and shape are pretty good as they are currently. At the moment, you need to be very careful when using it. You can't just spam loads of them because you invariably end up destroying terrain you didn't mean to, so I find it unlikely that designers would use the skill purely for terrain destruction anyway. So far, most of the uses I've seen have been singular, and mainly for instant destruction of thin platforms, rescuing Blockers and - as Gronkling mentioned - stopping Climbers and/or Shimmiers.

In fact, Icho's latest video shows the Grenader being used to enable a Shimmier to go further, by destroying part of the ceiling that would otherwise have stopped the Shimmier.

All of this being the case, I see no harm in leaving it the size that it is so that it can also be used purely for terrain destruction purposes. That said, smaller may be more manageable in certain settings, so is definitely worth a try.

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #114 on: January 11, 2021, 03:32:26 PM »
V6 grenader observations:

It's very hard to go down anymore when throwing right against a wall. I think it's only 2 pixels now. Also in general the digging upwards/downwards capabilities took a hit, they are still good/effective though!

Most importantly all my levels could be easily adjusted terrain wise --> all behaviors from before are still there and effective. Just to a lesser ammount and when the goal was to decrease the level-breaking potential I think this has been accomplished based on my first observations!

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #115 on: January 12, 2021, 04:03:26 AM »
A general comment regarding both projectile skills: it's very difficult to make repeat assignments to the same lemming, since it always seems to favour the new lemming walking past.

If there's a way to make it always favour the current lemming until after their shrugger state has finished, that would be swish :lemcat:

Offline Proxima

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #116 on: January 12, 2021, 06:04:08 PM »
I haven't yet had time to try out the new grenader, but I have an observation to make that's general and not tied to the specifics of the skill.

A new skill being backroute-prone is a good reason to tinker with its specifics, while it's still in the development phase and we have the opportunity to do so. It is a very bad reason to consider culling the skill altogether.

I know that none of the existing skills will ever be in danger of being culled because of existing content, but just suppose we were starting from scratch and considering which of the 19 existing skills should be implemented. If we considered backroute-proneness, the skills most at risk of being culled would be... builder and walker. They are the most versatile skills, because they have so many different ways they can be used and contribute to a solution; and that can be a weakness, but it's also their great strength. It should be obvious (in hindsight after so many levels have been made) that the wealth of puzzle possibilities they contribute to far outweighs the downside of being especially backroute-prone. In a year or two, it will be obvious for the grenader as well.

Besides, while IchoTolot-style one-solution-only levels are one end of the spectrum, NeoLemmix has room for a lot more than that, as shown by the popularity of the "skills you can't live without" challenge.

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #117 on: January 12, 2021, 06:53:17 PM »
Quote
A new skill being backroute-prone is a good reason to tinker with its specifics, while it's still in the development phase and we have the opportunity to do so. It is a very bad reason to consider culling the skill altogether.

This depends on the severity of it. Builder and Walker are very backroute prone, but the vast majority of backroutes caused by them are fairly easily fixable, and their puzzle usefulness greatly outweighs the hassle they cause via backroutes.

I had been hoping to gather some "problem" levels and get some community feedback on ideas about how they could be fixed / to see if any really couldn't be, to get more info on this. However, there simply wasn't enough useful levels for this being provided, so I'll have to simply try and gauge from feedback / level updates / etc to get an idea of this.

Quote
Besides, while IchoTolot-style one-solution-only levels are one end of the spectrum

This style does tend to be the majority of content (well, maybe not IchoTolot-style in terms of difficulty, but the "puzzle with one or at best a few specific solutions" style in general), so it should be the primary concern for something as major as a new skill. I would not want to be adding a new skill at this point that does not have much use in this kind of level, no matter how neat it is in easier Fun-style levels. Of course, if a skill is already great for the puzzle-style levels, and can be made better for the open-ended ones without harming the usefulness in puzzle levels, even better!

Offline Proxima

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #118 on: January 13, 2021, 03:52:42 AM »
That still doesn't consider hard open-ended levels, my favourite type 8-)

Over on discord, a few of us have gone through the original Lemmings levels to see which could be solved with an unlimited quantity of the four new skills. (The reason I'm posting here and not in Challenges is that this can't be an official challenge while the skills are still in an experimental phase. It can be added to Other NL challenges if all four make it in; I don't know whether anyone will be interested enough to redo it if only two or three do.)

We solved the following levels:

Fun: All solved
Tricky: All except 12, 27
Taxing: All except 11, 13, 16, 22*, 28
Mayhem: All except 1, 10, 12, 18, 21, 28, 30

*This assumes Amiga level stats (Taxing 22 requires 100%). With DOS stats (80%), the level is possible.

Of the fourteen unsolved levels, some are obviously impossible (e.g. Tricky 12 and the other levels with an initial splat), and there are some we are nearly certain about, but there are a couple remaining that may turn out to be possible.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #119 on: January 13, 2021, 09:54:42 AM »
Quote
V6 grenader observations:

It's very hard to go down anymore when throwing right against a wall. I think it's only 2 pixels now. Also in general the digging upwards/downwards capabilities took a hit, they are still good/effective though!

This is a great point, as it used to be one of the main ways Grenaders could abused for backroutes. If this use as a surrogate non-lethal Bomber "in place" (instead of throwing) is now severely hindered, that is going to eliminate a huge portion of the former potential backroutes in my book! :thumbsup:

Quote
Most importantly all my levels could be easily adjusted terrain wise --> all behaviors from before are still there and effective. Just to a lesser ammount and when the goal was to decrease the level-breaking potential I think this has been accomplished based on my first observations!

And this, simultaneously, shows that the Grenader is still a unique and valuable skill. So it's not only no longer as prone to backroutes as it used to be, it even adds tremendous and unique incremental value to the game! ;)

Quote from: Proxima
I haven't yet had time to try out the new grenader, but I have an observation to make that's general and not tied to the specifics of the skill.

A new skill being backroute-prone is a good reason to tinker with its specifics, while it's still in the development phase and we have the opportunity to do so. It is a very bad reason to consider culling the skill altogether.

I wholeheartedly agree! :thumbsup: And I believe this "tinkering with the specifics" is precisely what we have done with the Grenader now.


Now the crater is (as far as I can tell?) the same size as that of the Bomber, or just barely larger. Thus, it shouldn't be any more prone to creating backroutes than the Bomber.

Bomber backroutes can be more easily prevented by adjusting the save requirement; but in turn, Grenader backroutes can be easily prevented by a) making the ceiling or another obstacle too low to even throw the grenade in the first place, and by b) using what IchoTolot described to prevent a Grenader abuse in terms of "I'll just bomb straight through the ground where the lemming is currently standing, without actually losing the lemming".

Since this "surrogate bombing" no longer works, and the chunk of terrain taken out by the Grenader is considerably smaller now than it used to be, thus preventing "surrogate Bashing through one-way arrows from the opposite side" as well,
I am convinced the two major prior sources of potential Grenader backroutes have been eliminated.

Adding its unique new versatility on top of that, as IchoTolot has demonstrated in countless of his advanced levels with indeed very specific, non-open-ended solutions, I think there is absolutely no reason anymore to not include the Grenader into NL! ;)

And in case double negatives are easily misunderstood:
The Grenader should make it into NL as it currently is! :thumbsup:

(Voice your support if you agree with this, since it currently seems to be the skill in most "danger", in comparison. ;) But as I said, I don't believe the formerly valid reasons for doubt about this skill apply any longer, thanks to the recent physics changes.)
My packs so far:
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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 WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #120 on: January 13, 2021, 03:22:28 PM »
My favourite replays from last night's session.

Taxing 3 Heaven Can Wait (We Hope!!!) - initially thought impossible, but can be done by
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
A delightful mess of a solution!

Taxing 8 The Art Gallery - this one is one of the few levels which almost plays out like an intended solution...

Taxing 14 Hunt The Nessy - requires multiple workers, and just as much the epic adventure that the original is ;P

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #121 on: January 13, 2021, 05:58:41 PM »
Quote
Now the crater is (as far as I can tell?) the same size as that of the Bomber, or just barely larger. Thus, it shouldn't be any more prone to creating backroutes than the Bomber.

The bomber blast is 16px wide and 22px tall; the Grenader blast is 19px in both dimensions. So it's wider, but not as tall.

Offline Armani

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #122 on: January 14, 2021, 11:29:08 AM »
My solutions to @NieSch new skills levels.
There were some very nice puzzles and also backroutes :devil:

Edit : I attached wrong zip file.:forehead: Now I attached correct file.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2021, 11:54:29 AM by Armani »

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #123 on: January 14, 2021, 11:40:35 AM »
Quote from: namida
The bomber blast is 16px wide and 22px tall; the Grenader blast is 19px in both dimensions. So it's wider, but not as tall.

Okay, thanks for the explanation! :) These are minor differences, of course, but in terms of backroute prevention, I don't think they will be relevant very often: If a level can be backrouted by the current Grenader, it will usually also be possible to backroute the level in the same fashion provided the same number of Bombers instead, and vice versa.
My packs so far:
Lemmings World Tour (New & Old Formats), my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
Lemmings Open Air, my newest release and follow-up to World Tour, 120 levels
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 Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #124 on: April 04, 2021, 08:23:28 AM »
When namida announced that the Grenader and Spearer would not make the cut, he also said there would be a new experimental version one week later - featuring only the Slider and Laser Blaster, but with adapted physics (the newest fixes).

Any updates on that? ;) The latest update in the Experimental Version thread is still from January, whereas the announcement that the Grenader and Spearer wouldn't make it was from February.
My packs so far:
Lemmings World Tour (New & Old Formats), my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
Lemmings Open Air, my newest release and follow-up to World Tour, 120 levels
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] New skills general discussion
« Reply #125 on: April 04, 2021, 08:05:24 PM »
I had been hoping to fix a few of the reported bugs first, which I still haven't gotten around to yet.

EDIT: Made said build now, though I ultimately didn't end up making any further fixes - it's just "upgrade to latest NL version as base, remove Grenader and Spearer". (Or more accurately: "use latest NL version as base, add Slider and Laserer to it".)
« Last Edit: April 04, 2021, 10:23:20 PM by namida »

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #126 on: April 05, 2021, 08:26:44 AM »
That's alright, don't worry about the remaining bugs - I just wanted to make sure anyone creating new levels for the new skills can work with an up-to-date version that no longer includes the eliminated skills. ;)

Thanks a lot for uploading the new version! :thumbsup:

EDIT: Looks like the editor still contains the Grenader and the Spearer. The player, however, doesn't include any of the new skills? ???

When I open a level that includes Grenader and Spearer, the counts, pickup skills etc. are (formerly) correctly displayed in the editor. Then once I start the level in the player via test mode, all skills I see on the panel are the already established ones.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2021, 09:04:58 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
Lemmings Open Air, my newest release and follow-up to World Tour, 120 levels
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] New skills general discussion
« Reply #127 on: April 05, 2021, 08:33:58 PM »
I have noted in multiple places that the editor has not been updated. Although in this case, it would've just been "you were still using your old copy of the editor". ;P

Actually, I made a mistake in the post - the link I posted was for 12.11.2 stable, not the exp. (The right version could've been found by going to the "all versions" page on NL.com, but I expect few people would have tried that.)

I've fixed it now. Nothing wrong with the download itself - just a wrong link.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #128 on: April 08, 2021, 05:27:03 PM »
Ah, so that's why the new skills disappeared when I started the level. :P Well, anyway, thanks for the fix - as you can tell by me having updated my levels, it works for me now.

One question though: How can we make other styles work with the newest experimental build, now that you said the tileset restrictions are no longer in place?

I tried copying over my styles folder from my 12.11 folder, but I'm getting an "invalid pointer operation" as soon as I want to playtest a level (even when using the official styles).

I've deleted the copied styles folder and extracted the one from the latest experimental build back into the folder again, i.e. the one that only includes the official Lemmings and ONML styles, and now it works again as previously - that implies the restriction to official tilesets might still be in place somehow? ???
My packs so far:
Lemmings World Tour (New & Old Formats), my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
Lemmings Open Air, my newest release and follow-up to World Tour, 120 levels
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] New skills general discussion
« Reply #129 on: April 08, 2021, 06:34:29 PM »
Re-extract the copy of the default style from the download. My guess is this is happening because you're replacing "default" (or more specifically, the lemming sprites within) with a copy that doesn't include the sprites / metadata for the new skills.

With a non-standard set like Xmas, it would fall back to Default if something is missing (which it would be, as Xmas sprites for these skills don't exist, not even placeholders), but obviously if even Default is broken, not much it can do about that.

This is also why it ships with default marked as "last updated in 2100" or some crazy shit like that - so that the exp build won't auto-update that style if you click "Update All" in the style manager.

To be clear, you CAN use newer copies of default if/when such are released - just make sure to put the extra sprites (and the modified scheme.nxmi) back after updating.

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #130 on: April 08, 2021, 06:38:02 PM »
I am reminding people again - do NOT use the level sharing topic for anything other than posting levels!

There has been a major spike in posts that are not suitable for that topic showing up lately, to the point that I am considering whether I need to start issuing warnings for it.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #131 on: April 08, 2021, 08:33:03 PM »
Quote from: namida
My guess is this is happening because you're replacing "default" (or more specifically, the lemming sprites within) with a copy that doesn't include the sprites / metadata for the new skills.

Ah, yeah, that must have been it, I just copied the entire folder over. You highlighted it in the opening post of the thread that always contains the newest experimental version - I just didn't put two and two together and think of that this would happen if I copy and paste the entire styles folder.

So instead I needed to go into the styles folder and then select everything except "default" before copying those. Now it works! :thumbsup:


Regarding your "reminder": I guess that refers to other people having uploaded replays into the levels thread.
I was able to download somebody else's replays for my levels before those posts were removed, but of course I agree that any posts containing replays to the new-skills levels should go here in the present general-discussion thread, as usual.
My packs so far:
Lemmings World Tour (New & Old Formats), my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
Lemmings Open Air, my newest release and follow-up to World Tour, 120 levels
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 ericderkovits

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #132 on: April 09, 2021, 12:35:56 AM »
ok solved Niesch's V7 of Just a Slide Problem (used all skills)

Also I will put the replays in this thread(New Skills general discussion and not the New Skills levels one) since the other one is just for posting the levels but not the replays.

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #133 on: April 09, 2021, 05:41:53 AM »
I am reminding people again - do NOT use the level sharing topic for anything other than posting levels!

There has been a major spike in posts that are not suitable for that topic showing up lately, to the point that I am considering whether I need to start issuing warnings for it.

Just out of curiosity, why do you feel so strongly about this?

Also, it's only natural that people will want to discuss the levels and share replays in the space that feels most relevant.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2021, 07:42:59 AM by WillLem »

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #134 on: April 09, 2021, 06:13:03 AM »
ok solved Niesch's V7 of Just a Slide Problem (used all skills)

Good solution! Thanks for playing. Here's another way to solve it:
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Offline Armani

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #135 on: April 09, 2021, 06:24:52 AM »
Played some new skill levels after V7 release.
I think I've backrouted almost everything. :P

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #136 on: April 09, 2021, 06:50:55 AM »
Also played namida's levels.
Again, most of them are backroutes I think. (probably one intended?)

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #137 on: April 09, 2021, 06:56:20 AM »
version 2 of my new skills level(backroute) is in the new skills thread

Rette uns, Herr lemming

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #138 on: April 09, 2021, 08:08:03 AM »
Played some new skill levels after V7 release.
I think I've backrouted almost everything. :P

Oh well, only 1 slider left for my level. That's acceptable (since it will probably be a Fun ranked level).:thumbsup:
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Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #139 on: April 09, 2021, 09:52:15 PM »
I am reminding people again - do NOT use the level sharing topic for anything other than posting levels!

There has been a major spike in posts that are not suitable for that topic showing up lately, to the point that I am considering whether I need to start issuing warnings for it.

Just out of curiosity, why do you feel so strongly about this?

Also, it's only natural that people will want to discuss the levels and share replays in the space that feels most relevant.

To keep it relatively easy to find the levels themself, rather than having to wade through the discussions.

As a tip: You can click "quote" on a message in that topic, then copy/paste into a reply in this topic, to have the link etc preserved.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #140 on: April 10, 2021, 08:49:12 PM »
ok solved niesch's v3 level "Spoilt for Choice"

Had a glider and a floater left
« Last Edit: April 10, 2021, 09:39:06 PM by ericderkovits »

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #141 on: April 10, 2021, 09:13:48 PM »
ok solved the 2nd version of Strato's "Thus spoke Zarathrustra".
Still had plenty of skills left and also didn't use the jumper pickup skill. Still most likely a backroute.

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #142 on: April 11, 2021, 07:37:52 AM »
ok solved niesch's v3 level "Spoilt for Choice"

Had a glider and a floater left

Good solution! Did you like the level? It's intended to be a Fun ranked one. As the title suggests there are many possible solutions. I hope it's still fun and challenging enough.
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Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #143 on: April 15, 2021, 09:05:44 PM »
Okay, so I just found out it's possible to shoot a laser through a water area that is on top of terrain, thus creating a tunnel a Swimmer can pass through in both directions. :D

This is a great way to seal off paths so that they can only be traversed e.g. by pioneers (if they are Swimmers), rather than the whole crowd:

The very first level on which I'm using this would in principle also work without the water in place, by simply having the pioneer walk up the Laserer tunnel.
However, the level also requires two Builders, and this would allow simply building up into the Laserer tunnel and having the entire crowd follow that path - if it weren't for the water inside the tunnel. ;)


Out of curiosity, I wanted to see if something similar can also be done in Lemmings 2: The Tribes, i.e. with a vertical Laser Blaster. Since Climbers and Rock Climbers can go around 90° corners in L2, i.e. transition from a Shimmier back to a (Rock) Climber, I wanted to laser blast somewhere under a water pool, send a (Rock) Climber / Shimmier up, and then have him climb into the Laser Blaster shaft until he reaches the water and starts swimming. In short, I wanted to see whether L2 Swimmers also "float up" to the surface.

Well, turns out I can't actually try this, because somehow all the water pools in the official L2 levels seem to be surrounded entirely by steel. ^^

But has anyone who made custom levels for Lemmings 2: The Tribes ever tried something like this?
My packs so far:
Lemmings World Tour (New & Old Formats), my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
Lemmings Open Air, my newest release and follow-up to World Tour, 120 levels
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 kaywhyn

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #144 on: April 15, 2021, 09:13:05 PM »
Did you ever try this pack, Strato? https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=3655.0. As I haven't gotten too far in the pack myself, I don't know if kieran made any levels in the pack that allow you to test what you're trying to
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPMqwuqZ206rBWJrUC6wkrA - My YouTube channel and you can also find my playlists of Lemmings level packs that I have LPed
kaywhyn's blog: https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=5363.0

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #145 on: April 15, 2021, 09:41:07 PM »
Yes, I have it installed for my DOS Box version of Lemmings 2 (while keeping the Amiga .bat Version for the original levels). However, most of the puzzles were too hard for me, and at least in the screenshots, I also can't see any water pits that aren't made of steel.

Most importantly, I don't have any influence on the skillset for each level. That's something that is only possible in practice mode - and the practice levels either only have water areas surrounded by steel, or don't feature any water areas at all. ;)
My packs so far:
Lemmings World Tour (New & Old Formats), my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
Lemmings Open Air, my newest release and follow-up to World Tour, 120 levels
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 kaywhyn

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #146 on: April 16, 2021, 12:48:40 AM »
Ah, that's a bummer. Kieran's probably the likely person who might be able to answer for you, either because he has levels in the pack for which he can test and see, or he might be able to quickly put together a level and check. Possibly the people who streamed (Simon and Geo, I think?) the pack from about a month or two ago can also answer :P
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPMqwuqZ206rBWJrUC6wkrA - My YouTube channel and you can also find my playlists of Lemmings level packs that I have LPed
kaywhyn's blog: https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=5363.0

Offline Simon

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #147 on: April 16, 2021, 06:05:04 AM »
You can experiment even without level modification, by crawling into the water from below:



You can walk at the bottom of a water pit. Probably another relic of programming with the lemming's pin in the floor. :P If you gain even a single pixel of height, you'll drown.

Experiment what happens when this underwater walker has the swimmer ability. I conjecture that they warp to the top surface of the water, then swim.

How to crawl: When lemmings are trapped within a 1x1 hole (1xN also? I forgot), or trapped completely within terrain, they'll crawl. Roper and platformer are excellent to prepare 1x1 holes. Sometimes, a roper alone can do it, e.g., by a precise angled shot into a corner, or into the lovely Outdoor tribe roots.

To make levels, e.g., to test with unsteeled water: Combine lgl2 with geoo's L2 suite, copy the entire L2 directory and edit the levels within the copy.

L2 (the DOS program) will try to load levels from the emulated C:\L2 if that exists, and from its current emulated directory otherwise. Thus, if you have several copies of L2, don't mount any of them as C:\L2, to avoid this confusion.

-- Simon

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #148 on: April 16, 2021, 09:46:21 AM »
Wow, thanks a lot, Simon! :thumbsup:

I've tried it out, and indeed, just like the Drowners in this example, Swimmers "warp" straight to the top of the water area instead of drifting diagonally upwards comparatively slowly (as they do in NeoLemmix).

Again, I've used the Amiga .bat version for this, but assuming your video was made in the DOS version and it still shows a similar behaviour (just with Drowners instead of Swimmers in this case), I'm certain this behaviour is the same in both versions.
My packs so far:
Lemmings World Tour (New & Old Formats), my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
Lemmings Open Air, my newest release and follow-up to World Tour, 120 levels
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 ericderkovits

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #149 on: April 16, 2021, 03:21:35 PM »
ok solved v4 of Spoilt for choice. Had 1 shimmier left

Offline NieSch

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #150 on: April 16, 2021, 03:57:37 PM »
ok solved v4 of Spoilt for choice. Had 1 shimmier left

Not the intended solution I had in mind, but I like it. Well done.
My new level pack: Long Live Lemmings!
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Offline Simon

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion
« Reply #151 on: April 16, 2021, 09:00:07 PM »
like the Drowners in this example, Swimmers "warp" straight to the top of the water area
I've used the Amiga .bat version
assuming your video was made in the DOS version

Thanks! Yes, I've used DOS L2.

I've just tested DOS L2 with an underwater walker that knows how to swim. It's exactly as you describe from Amiga L2: On rising by at least one pixel, the lemming teleports to the water's top surface, the splash animation plays there, and he immediately starts swimming.

-- Simon