Author Topic: [DISC][PLAYER] New skills general discussion  (Read 12500 times)

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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:
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 #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:
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 #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.

Offline Strato Incendus

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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:
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 #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!).

Offline Strato Incendus

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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".