Author Topic: Feature idea: NPC Lix  (Read 575 times)

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Offline Dominator_101

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Feature idea: NPC Lix
« on: April 28, 2021, 12:57:27 PM »
While my body refused to go to sleep last night, I at least had a thought for something that might be cool to add to Lix; the ability to add a hatch(es) that spawn non-factioned Lix (Lix that you can't assign skills to, but otherwise act as normal Lix in terms of scoring).

In singleplayer, this allows adding a hatch that you need to figure out how to get to/save without being able to directly affect them. Could potentially add some interesting puzzles.

In multiplayer, you could create honeypot hatches that players can race/fight to get access to, and have to figure out how to get to their exit.

Things to consider: what's the best way to differentiate them visually? Singleplayer might be easier, as just a color change could suffice, but in multiplayer this becomes more complex since there are already multiple colors. Having some other visual identifier other than color would also be good for cases like colorblindness. Maybe have a sprite difference, like a letter on their shirt or mussy hair to indicate they're 'lazy' Lix?

Considered posting on the GitHub, but figured it'd be good to join here for more visibility so others might be able to weigh in.

Offline IchoTolot

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Re: Feature idea: NPC Lix
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2021, 03:30:53 PM »
Seems like you exactly thought of NeoLemmix's neutral lemmings. ;P

I would speak out my support for them in Lix! :lix-smile:

In NeoLemmix they are represented by grey lemmings. In Lix multiplayer though grey is a choosable player color. Maybe add more colors for MP and make grey dedicated for NPC Lix/neutral Lix? ???

Offline Forestidia86

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Re: Feature idea: NPC Lix
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2021, 04:51:50 PM »
Neutral Lixes have been a feature wish for quite some time as far as I know, e.g. here

But it hasn't gotten implemented by now.

I have no opinion about this feature but there is definitely a high interest by various other members in it.

Offline Dominator_101

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Re: Feature idea: NPC Lix
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2021, 05:06:46 PM »
Yeah, it seemed like something that wasn't unique enough an idea that it wouldn't have possibly come up/been used in other Lemmings games (I'm not really that familiar with Lemmings), but figured it was worth suggesting because it seems like it would be a fun thing to have.

Having them grey was my initial though, but since there's already so many colors in MP wasn't sure if that was something that would be good or not. One thought was it could be bad for colorblindness, but to be fair multiplayer as a whole likely would be anyway so maybe that's not really a big deal and grey is fine.

Offline Simon

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Re: Feature idea: NPC Lix
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2021, 05:24:35 PM »
Right, neutrals have the biggest potential for multiplayer. It's often too risky and unworkable to steal honeypots (bunches of other players' lix), but honeypots are lovely.

Forestidia is right that neutrals have been on the waiting list for long and haven't gotten implemented yet, even though it's a great idea. The rabbit hole here is: Adding neutrals is a physics change and a level format change. The networking server allows all connected people to play with each other, and excludes from connecting if somebody has outdated physics. Thus, whenever I update physics or the level format, players should update to the newest version.

But we have a Debian package of Lix that updates every 2 years at best. If I update physics freely, I decline Debian users my central server. If I update physics too slowly, as I do now, we don't get enough testing of new physics and I still have unmerged physics changes from 2017 in a side branch.

To resolve this, my plan for 2021 is to rework the end-of-level screen, and then to work on the server, allowing people with different client versions to play in separate rooms. Networking protocol incompatibilites can, if necessary, be hidden in the server, who then has to support several versions for a few years.

This opens the door to neutral lixes and to player handicapping.

Ginger Lixes, a 2014 topic on potential neutral color.

-- Simon
« Last Edit: April 28, 2021, 06:00:35 PM by Simon »

Offline geoo

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Re: Feature idea: NPC Lix
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2021, 07:59:23 PM »
I know a lot of ideas have been floating around visualizing the neutrals (white, rainbow, grey, ...) but what about simply using the color scheme from single player ("garden")? I'm surprised this suggestion hasn't come up yet as far as I know. (I don't have anything else to add as pretty much everything has been said in this and/or the previous topic. But for me this is the single biggest thing to really get me excited to make more levels again.)

Offline Simon

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Re: Feature idea: NPC Lix
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2021, 08:41:52 PM »
If we have garden lix as neutrals in multiplayer, we'll need a separate neutral color for singleplayer. I still lean towards white or light grey for neutral in both single- and multiplayer.

To make them stand out even more, I'm fine with marking the neutrals with a small star or ring over their heads, similar to how we mark permanent abilities. Over-the-head marking is especially important when only neutrals count towards the score, and even more when a player wins on the spot on saving a single neutral.

-- Simon