Poll

Which of the options do you prefer?

Timed & Untimed Bombers as 2 separate skills, each with their own panel button
4 (33.3%)
Player-side option to always have Timed, always have Untimed, or default to the level's design
5 (41.7%)
Creator-side option to have whichever they prefer in their level (i.e. one OR the other, not both); "Always Untimed" could also be implemented as an "Easy" mode, but "Always Timed" would not be an option in this case
3 (25%)

Total Members Voted: 12

Author Topic: [SUG] The re-introduction of Timed Bombers  (Read 1214 times)

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Offline WillLem

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[SUG] The re-introduction of Timed Bombers
« on: May 05, 2021, 06:22:59 AM »
OK, so I've noticed that quite a few SuperLemmini users like the idea of the return of Timed Bombers to the game.

Personally, I enjoy both; Timed Bombers present a real-time challenge to enhance the puzzles and amplify the chaos; Untimed Bombers of course remove the trial-and-error and are also a satisfying bit of popping good fun :lemcat: so, they both have their merits and ought to be included in the game together, one way or another.

It's therefore worth discussing exactly how this might be done. I can see three possible options:

1) Implementing Timed Bombers as an additional, separate skill, so that both Timed and Instant Bombers would still be available on the panel. They'd each have their own button, with the Timed ones including a clock graphic overlaying the explosion (or similar). As far as I can see, this is the most preferable option since it opens the game up completely, allowing content creators to use both in their levels, and removing the need for them to be mutually exclusive. The only issue I can see with this option is that it would involve adding the extra button and potentially messing up players' existing skill hotkey configurations, particularly if they like the hotkeys to match the panel positions.

2) Implement both as a mutually exclusive player-side option. So, the user themselves could choose whether to always have Timed, or always have Untimed, regardless of the level design. In both the editor and in the in-game panel, Bombers would simply appear as "Bombers", keeping things simple for both creators and players. Whilst this is perhaps the most elegant and seemingly simple option, it does present a very significant problem. Untimed Bombers would necessarily have to be unassignable to each lemming for the first 5 seconds after they spawn, otherwise those who have selected "Timed" bombers would not be able to play any level requiring a lemming to be a Bomber during that time. As well as placing this limitation on level design, imagine an RR99 level with the lemmings dropping straight into a tight pit which needs to be bombed out of: you'd have to make sure you were selecting a lemming that had been in the level for at least 5 seconds from within the bunch... basically, things could get very messy in spite of the supposed simplicity of this option.

3) Implement both as a mutually exclusive creator-side option. So, creators would choose editor-side whether they wanted the Bombers in their level to be Timed or Untimed (the OGs would be Timed, of course). This is by far the simplest way to do it, since the in-game panel would only need the one button, and it once again opens up the design options. However, it means that you could never have both in the same level, and also ignores the preference of the player; since SuperLemmini is already fairly niche, it would be no good if someone avoided playing your levels because you happened to design them using the "other" type of Bomber than the one they'd prefer to use. One potential way around this would be to present the option for the player to either always have Untimed Bombers regardless of level design, or always default to the level author's choice. This would perhaps be a decent middle-ground, presenting Untimed Bombers as essentially an "Easy" mode that can remain a player's default if they so wish.

Thoughts?
« Last Edit: May 08, 2021, 07:24:02 AM by WillLem »

Offline Ron_Stard

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Re: [SUG] The re-introduction of Timed Bombers
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2021, 01:59:37 PM »
Thank you for showing interest in this feature. I think the third option is the best for preserving the legacy of the original game, but also offers the possibility of designing levels with no timed bombers at all. The check option for the player of having always no timed bombers instead of timed ones (even when the designed level requires timed ones) may put an end to these controversy; to each his own.

Perhaps you could create a poll about this. I'd vote for the third option.

Offline Simon

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Re: [SUG] The re-introduction of Timed Bombers
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2021, 04:58:13 PM »
RR99 level with the lemmings dropping straight into a tight pit which needs to be bombed out of: you'd have to make sure you were selecting a lemming that had been in the level for at least 5 seconds from within the bunch... basically, things could get very messy in spite of the supposed simplicity of this option.

The answer to this is better UI: While bomber icon is selected, the cursor should only consider lemmings that are old enough. The cursor already prioritizes lemmings based on different things, this would be a natural extension under your new game rules.

In general, the program should offer the best possible UI for its chosen own physics/philosophy. It's okay to make the physics first and improve the UI later. Existing UI shouldn't be a concern for game design. Complicated future UI that supports pyshics can be a concern, e.g., player confusion, why doesn't the cursor open over this new lemming?

Interesting design problem of (2): What will you write to the replay? You'll want recorded assignments to replay with the same physics, no matter whether the player's option is timed or untimed bomber.

-- Simon
« Last Edit: May 05, 2021, 05:04:05 PM by Simon »

Offline LanaAndCo

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Re: [SUG] The re-introduction of Timed Bombers
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2021, 06:40:11 PM »
Ummm... I gotta say that I prefer the third option as well. I think that having it tied to the level's integers is the best to avoid inequalities. Instant bombers are cool but they aren't just making some puzzles easier, they also reduce some to just a walk in the park. I'm with Ron_Stard on this one, we have more or less the same arguments I think.

And doesn't Lix have something like that with its two types of exploders?

Offline Forestidia86

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Re: [SUG] The re-introduction of Timed Bombers
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2021, 07:30:58 PM »

Interesting design problem of (2): What will you write to the replay? You'll want recorded assignments to replay with the same physics, no matter whether the player's option is timed or untimed bomber.


I at first thought that the physics update of the explosion should be written into the replay but then again you could then cancel the skill after you've assigned it in the timed bomber's case.

Offline Proxima

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Re: [SUG] The re-introduction of Timed Bombers
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2021, 07:43:55 PM »
And doesn't Lix have something like that with its two types of exploders?

It's a little bit similar in that there are two types of exploder and a level can only have one and it's entirely the creator's choice.

But in Lix, both are untimed, and the physics are different enough (different shaped craters, and one type flings nearby lix) that it has to be creator's choice, otherwise you would not be playing the puzzle as it was designed, and it might become impossible or trivial.

Offline WillLem

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Re: [SUG] The re-introduction of Timed Bombers
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2021, 03:06:20 AM »
Perhaps you could create a poll about this. I'd vote for the third option.

Thanks for your input, I've added a poll.

The answer to this is better UI: While bomber icon is selected, the cursor should only consider lemmings that are old enough

This is a neat idea, but it could confuse the player if they are unable to assign a Bomber to a lem who has only just spawned, which is one of the reasons why option (2) is my least favourite. You also mention that player confusion could result from the cursor not opening on newly-spawed lems; I'd ideally want to avoid this sort of thing as much as possible.

What will you write to the replay? You'll want recorded assignments to replay with the same physics, no matter whether the player's option is timed or untimed bomber.

Hmm, good question. I suppose that the replay file would have to consider the player's choice, and write the replay accordingly. The simplest way that I can imagine:

In the case of Timed: the replay file waits 5 seconds before recording the assignment of a Bomber. Then, when playing back, the engine shunts the assignment backwards 5 seconds. That way, the .rpl would be compatible with either option.

In the case of Untimed: it remains as-is, with the assignment being recorded at the time & place of the explosion. Again, though, if the same .rpl is played back with Timed bombers selected instead, the engine shunts the assignment back 5 seconds.

I can imagine this being a lot of very tricky code that I currently wouldn't have a clue how to do, but a solution is there somewhere... it's probably in the same ballpark as backwards framestepping.

I at first thought that the physics update of the explosion should be written into the replay but then again you could then cancel the skill after you've assigned it in the timed bomber's case.

Wait, hang on - this is a good idea! What do you mean about cancelling the skill?

Ummm... I gotta say that I prefer the third option as well. I think that having it tied to the level's integers is the best to avoid inequalities

I agree, and option 3 is definitely a close second for me. I prefer option 1 generally because I like the idea of completely opening it up so that both can be used in the same level. But, if option 3 turns out to be the most popular then I'd happily focus on that implementation. I'm really only offering option 2 as lip-service, I think making it player-side is far too complicated, restrictive and UI-messy.

the physics are different enough (different shaped craters, and one type flings nearby lix) that it has to be creator's choice, otherwise you would not be playing the puzzle as it was designed, and it might become impossible or trivial.

If option 3 gets the most votes and we end up going with that, it'll be interesting to see if SL users prefer the idea of allowing the author to specify which type of Bomber is used in a level, and remove the notion of a player-side option entirely. That way, both exist in the game but it's always up to the author which appears in any given level. Given that the SL user-base seems to mostly enjoy Timed Bombers, I can imagine that this might end up being the best and simplest way to go.



A quick reminder: this is all theory at the moment, I absolutely do not have the technical/programming knowledge to actually go ahead with anything at this point, it's just good to have the discussion and see if there's interest. There have been a healthy number of replies, which is encouraging, and I myself would like SL to have Timed Bombers, so... maybe this will provide me with the spur of motivation that I need to persevere with it.

Offline ericderkovits

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Re: [SUG] The re-introduction of Timed Bombers
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2021, 05:48:52 AM »
I voted for Option 1, as I would like to have both be availiable in levels. Also not only walkers, jumpers and platformers(wishful of course) as added skills. It would be cool to also have Zombies availiable in levels.

Offline Crane

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Re: [SUG] The re-introduction of Timed Bombers
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2021, 05:28:00 PM »
I would go with the third option personally.  Let it be the level or pack creator's choice.  Timed bombers, besides the execution difficulty, have some tactical differences in how it interacts with other skills - for example, the Cloner, since if the lemming has the countdown when cloned, the clone gets the countdown too.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2021, 05:34:26 PM by Crane »

Offline Forestidia86

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Re: [SUG] The re-introduction of Timed Bombers
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2021, 05:49:45 PM »
I at first thought that the physics update of the explosion should be written into the replay but then again you could then cancel the skill after you've assigned it in the timed bomber's case.

Wait, hang on - this is a good idea! What do you mean about cancelling the skill?

I thought from a Lix perspective, that you can rewind and replay with cancelling on every phyu. So it would be possible with the timed bombers to cancel them after they have been assigned since the replay entry is for a later phyu. It would maybe be even possible without replaying or rewinding.
One could maybe think of an extra assignment entry that is ignored when replayed with untimed option.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2021, 05:56:51 PM by Forestidia86 »

Offline WillLem

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Re: [SUG] The re-introduction of Timed Bombers
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2021, 07:07:56 PM »
I voted for Option 1, as I would like to have both be availiable in levels. Also not only walkers, jumpers and platformers(wishful of course) as added skills. It would be cool to also have Zombies availiable in levels.

Whilst Walkers, Jumpers and Platformers could be considered on the basis that they aren't radically different from the classic 8 (and would provide an extra construction skill), Zombies will absolutely not be appearing in any version of SL that I'm working on, for 2 reasons:

1) They're a NeoLemmix thing, and should remain so

2) Code, bugs, code, bugs, code and bugs. Oh, and code. And bugs :P

I thought from a Lix perspective, that you can rewind and replay with cancelling on every phyu. So it would be possible with the timed bombers to cancel them after they have been assigned since the replay entry is for a later phyu. It would maybe be even possible without replaying or rewinding.
One could maybe think of an extra assignment entry that is ignored when replayed with untimed option.

I still don't understand :forehead:

If you tie the replay entry with the explosion (rather than the assignment of the bomber itself), then cancelling the bomber assignment will also cancel the explosion... won't it?

Offline Forestidia86

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Re: [SUG] The re-introduction of Timed Bombers
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2021, 07:44:46 PM »
I thought from a Lix perspective, that you can rewind and replay with cancelling on every phyu. So it would be possible with the timed bombers to cancel them after they have been assigned since the replay entry is for a later phyu. It would maybe be even possible without replaying or rewinding.
One could maybe think of an extra assignment entry that is ignored when replayed with untimed option.

I still don't understand :forehead:

If you tie the replay entry with the explosion (rather than the assignment of the bomber itself), then cancelling the bomber assignment will also cancel the explosion... won't it?

The cancelling of the explosion at an unwanted time is the problem. I have how Lix works in mind.
In Lix (the tweaker left aside) every assignment or clicking in the air cancels all assignments that are later than the current phyu.
If you assign the timed bomber the entry is only created for a much later phyu. If you then assign something inbetween the explosion assignment would be cut away. This must somehow be prevented.

example (Lix physics):
(15 phyus=1 sec, 5 sec timer)

You assign the bomber at phyu 100 and then the entry for the assignment (explosion) is at phyu 175. Then you assign a builder at phyu 150. This leads to cutting away all entries after phyu 150 including the explosion assignment. So in this case there is no explosion.

And doesn't Lix have something like that with its two types of exploders?

There is a difference between multiplayer and singleplayer as well next to the difference imploder and exploder. In singleplayer ploders are untimed and in multiplayer they are timed. The replays stick to this then as well though  (singleplayer ones untimed, multiplayer ones timed).
« Last Edit: May 06, 2021, 09:44:14 PM by Forestidia86 »

Offline WillLem

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Re: [SUG] The re-introduction of Timed Bombers
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2021, 04:21:46 AM »
You assign the bomber at phyu 100 and then the entry for the assignment (explosion) is at phyu 175. Then you assign a builder at phyu 150. This leads to cutting away all entries after phyu 150 including the explosion assignment. So in this case there is no explosion.

Ah, I see what you mean now.

Whilst Lix and NeoLemmix have "Replay Tweaker" features, SuperLemmini does not (and nor will it ever, probably). Since SL is more focused on classic-style gameplay, Replay Tweaking features would somewhat go against this idealogy. I also want to keep the engine as simple as possible (yes, I've thrown the idea of adding new skills into the mix, but in all honesty this most likely won't happen).

So, as far as I can imagine, entering the assignment at the point of explosion should work just fine. That is, in the case of Untimed Bombers the replay handling would be exactly as it is now. For Timed, the engine would account for it by delaying the assignment by 5 seconds. In either case, if the player restarts the level into Replay mode and then cancels the Bomber assignment, the explosion* doesn't happen and so the assignment doesn't get recorded.

*Incidentally, it would probably need to be the 'Oh-noer' state which triggers the assignment, since both Timed and Untimed Bombers feature this state before the explosion occurs.



I'm beginning to lean more towards (3), without having "Always Untimed" as an option. This would mean that there would be no need for extra "replay differentiating" code, with the added bonus that the current level editor (1.43) could still be used in the event that I never get around to making a level editor for SL.

So, the way this could work is that the level author adds a line of text to the level file along the lines of

timedBombers=true

and then the engine selects the correct Bomber type upon loading the level.

Granted, this could also work for option (2) but this is by far my least favourite option, since it means restricting the assignment of Untimed Bombers in the first 5 seconds of every level, as well as messing around with the UI. Besides, if players were so inclined, they could always run a RegEx to change all instances of timedBombers=true to timedBombers=false anyway, thus effectively making this an option for just their experience of the game. Doing so would of course invalidate their replays, but that's on them.

And, option (1) not only involves messing with the UI (i.e. by adding the extra button) but could only practically work with the presence of a dedicated Editor which can be used to assign either type of Bomber to a level. I'm far more inclined at this stage to leave it as the classic 8 skills and as traditional an experience as possible, given that this is the main draw of SuperLemmini for people migrating over from Amiga and Windows Lemmings.

So, expect that option (3) will likely be the way it'll happen (potentially minus the Player-side choice to have Always Untimed, although I'll probably poll this if and when the time comes).
« Last Edit: May 07, 2021, 05:03:08 AM by WillLem »

Offline WillLem

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Re: [SUG] The re-introduction of Timed Bombers
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2021, 04:53:42 AM »
Brainwave! :lem-shocked:

Code-wise, I wonder if it's possible to implement Timed Bombers via the Nuke feature (as mentioned by Pooty and Proxima over on Discord).

So, the game knows what "Nuke" is; there may be a way to basically say:

if timedBombers=true {apply Nuke to selected lemming only} else {run normal code for Bombers}
« Last Edit: May 07, 2021, 05:05:09 AM by WillLem »

Offline Simon

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Re: [SUG] The re-introduction of Timed Bombers
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2021, 07:11:34 AM »
You assign the bomber at phyu 100 and then the entry for the assignment (explosion) is at phyu 175. Then you assign a builder at phyu 150. This leads to cutting away all entries after phyu 150 including the explosion assignment. So in this case there is no explosion.
Ah, I see what you mean now.
Whilst Lix and NeoLemmix have "Replay Tweaker" features, SuperLemmini does not

The problem has nothing to do with replay tweaking or framestepping. The problem arises even if the engine supports only (restart with replay) and (interrupt replay to take over).

Quote
So, as far as I can imagine, entering the assignment at the point of explosion should work just fine.

It works when you special-case erasing assignments from the replay:
  • Engine decides to record bombers always at oh-no-phyu (because it must record them at some phyu), not necessarily at assign-phyu, and leaves timed/untimed up to the user.
  • User X chooses option for timed bombers.
  • During normal play, at phyu 100:
    • X assigns bomber.
    • Replay receives the bomber assignment for phyu 175.
    • Graphics see the assignment in the future and draw countdown.
  • Then, at phyu 130:
    • X clicks into the air.
    • Replay doesn't erase the bomber assignment at 175 even though it's in the future, and even though clicking the air erases future assignment.
  • X restarts level. Replay begins to play.
  • X lets replay play to phyu 90.
    • Were X to click the air here, the replay would erase the bomber assignment at 175, like any future assignment.
  • X lets the replay play to phyu 120.
    • Graphics again see the future bomber assignment and draw countdown.
    • X clicks into the air to interrupt the replay.
    • Replay erases all future assignments, but special-cases for the bomber assignment at phyu 175, and keeps this bomber assignment despite its future phyu, for the sole reason that X wants timed bombers.
There is an equivalent story for (engine decides to record bomber assignments at the phyu where a timed bomber would have to be assigned, and user Y chooses option for untimed bomber). Again, the code would have to special-case when it comes to cutting bomber assignments from the replay, but now it would have to cut extra earlier bomber assignments for Y.

Quote
option 2 as lip-service, I think making it player-side is far too complicated, restrictive and UI-messy.

Yeah, you can reject 2) for complexity/player confusion. 2) seems to bring special-casing to several different parts of the program. Interesting design problems, thanks for sparking the discussion.

When you're a beginner with software development, you don't want daunting tasks. The architectural risk here is manageable even: It's possible to fit 2) on top of 1) or 3) in a year. It would merely be nice to see that you had the right picture in mind if you now reject 2).

Quote
[WillLem and Forestidia discussing]

This subthread has evolved exactly as I feared yesterday night. :-P WillLem jumps onto some side note (some engine's ability to tweak the replay) and doesn't continue to analyze what part of the underlying problem still applies to SL.

And Forestidia must drill ideas into people's minds even more cleanly, separating any side notes. :-P

-- Simon
« Last Edit: May 07, 2021, 07:48:26 AM by Simon »

Offline Proxima

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Re: [SUG] The re-introduction of Timed Bombers
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2021, 04:24:05 PM »
Granted, this could also work for option (2) but this is by far my least favourite option, since it means restricting the assignment of Untimed Bombers in the first 5 seconds of every level

Why, though?

Why not have a player-side option without this restriction? The original games were designed for timed bombers, so no levels become impossible. A couple of levels get new backroutes, but playing the original games with untimed bombers breaks some levels anyway.

No matter what, SL is not going to rise from the dead as a competitor to NL in the custom level scene. Custom level designers want the convenience features, UI features, and extra skills and objects to play around with that NL offers. So custom levels don't really need to be considered here.

Offline WillLem

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Re: [SUG] The re-introduction of Timed Bombers
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2021, 02:38:48 AM »
The problem has nothing to do with replay tweaking or framestepping. The problem arises even if the engine supports only (restart with replay) and (interrupt replay to take over).

I have read your explanation/examples and I still don't see what the problem is. If the player clicks to end the replay before it enters the Oh-no state, then the Bomber skill is cancelled, in both instances (since the assignment is recorded at the point of Oh-no). I would imagine that, in the case of Timed, the countdown timer would simply stop (and disappear) mid-way through if it had already started at that point.

Anyway, the more I think about it, the more I'd prefer to aim for a solution which doesn't even need to account for different replays. Option 3, with no player-side option for "always untimed", is looking to be the most attractive at the moment, both in terms of simplicity and elegance.

it means restricting the assignment of Untimed Bombers in the first 5 seconds of every level

Why, though?

Because otherwise, any level requiring an Untimed Bomber in the first 5 seconds becomed impossible if the player had Timed Bombers enabled. Sure, this isn't a problem for the original games, but it could affect custom content.

And of course, SL isn't quite as custom-content-driven as NL by any means, but there is a platform/market there for it, and I feel that placing avoidable restrictions on it isn't helping its cause.

That's why I've come to the conclusion that allowing the designer to decide which type of Bomber they use in their levels is the best way to go with it, since then custom content is being played to author specifications, and the original games can of course go back to having Timed Bombers.

Again, if I was the one implementing this feature (and it looks like Tsyu is back on board with SL now so it still very much remains to be seen if I end up doing anything with it at all), I would probably do so via a "timedBombers=true/false" line in the level.ini file. So, if players really wanted to always have Untimed (or even Timed) Bombers, they technically would be able to do so. However, it would mean that their replays would no longer be cross-compatible with other players. To be honest, I can't really see that being a massive problem for SuperLemmini anyway, since replay sharing is quite rare amongst its userbase. So, it's really more about whether the engine itself will support a player-side option or not, as opposed to whether it's possible to tailor your own experience of the game, should you wish to.

So custom levels don't really need to be considered here.

I disagree with this entirely. Those of us who do make content for SuperLemmini care just as much about it as our NeoLemmix content. Besides, if the options for creating custom content for SL improve, then more people probably will get into it. And even if they don't - a program should be as good as it can be anyway. Option (2) presents far too many fiddly problems which run the risk of ruining the smooth, free-flowing experience of playing SuperLemmini.

Offline grams88

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Re: [SUG] The re-introduction of Timed Bombers
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2021, 11:58:02 PM »
Hi everyone

Hope all is well.

I think both superlemmini and Neolemmix can live side by side in a non-competitive way. One necessarily doesn't have to be dead. I feel this would be a stepping stone for both of the creators and they can bounce ideas off of each other as well. I think there's a big fanbase for both of them and would give players the option of which one would they prefer playing.

Anyway didn't want to go off-topic. I have this idea, Superlemmin could go for the normal timed bombers while Neolemmix could stick to the instant bombers. That way we get the best of both worlds.

Offline WillLem

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Re: [SUG] The re-introduction of Timed Bombers
« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2021, 01:22:23 AM »
I have this idea, Superlemmin could go for the normal timed bombers while Neolemmix could stick to the instant bombers. That way we get the best of both worlds.

Hmm. I think SL should have both; I'm campaigning for Timed to reappear, not for Untimed to disappear. Now that we've had the convenience of Untimed, they would be missed if they were to be removed from the game altogether.

NeoLemmix is too different from SuperLemmini for the two to be thought of as true alternatives to each other. But yes, I absolutely agree that both can exist harmoniously side by side and I've been saying that myself ever since I became an active forum member :lemcat:

Offline grams88

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Re: [SUG] The re-introduction of Timed Bombers
« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2021, 04:17:30 PM »
You do make some interesting points WillLem. :thumbsup::thumbsup:

Actually now thinking about it I think it would be good to have the two as separate skills. One could be for the instant bombers and the other for timed bombers. Only reason for saying that one is I think a lot of the recent Neolemmix levels might become impossible if we changed back to time bombers and not have instant bombers at all, that would be my main worry.

I like your campaigning style. You like a lot of things that I like, like the hidden exits, mind you I wouldn't make every level a hidden exit one but maybe one or two, I don't see the problem with that.  At the moment the physics mode shows where the exits are. I think maybe making it so that the physics modes still show everything except for where the exits are. I don't want to go off-topic too much here. I think that's a good way to get change in things with the campaigning. :) :) I do like the idea of having both options available. 

Offline WillLem

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Re: [SUG] The re-introduction of Timed Bombers
« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2021, 12:51:13 AM »
Thanks for your kind comments, grams88 :lemcat:

Only reason for saying that one is I think a lot of the recent Neolemmix levels might become impossible if we changed back to time bombers and not have instant bombers at all, that would be my main worry.

I'm pretty certain that namida won't be re-introducing Timed Bombers to NeoLemmix, even as a separate skill, so there's nothing to worry about there. Your point still applies to SuperLemmini though, of course.

Offline Charles

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Re: [SUG] The re-introduction of Timed Bombers
« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2021, 04:04:18 AM »
I think there’s a 4th (and possibly 5th and 6th) option you’re missing …

My personal opinion is that it should be up to the content creator how it’s played, with original levels being of course timed. But it doesn’t have to be a simple on/off setting.

The setting could be something like bombTimer=5 for a 5 second timer, or bombTimer=20 for a 20 second timer and bombTimer=0 for an untimed bomber. Maybe a level is designed that needs multiple different bomb timers? Like maybe you get 20 timed bombers that are 30 seconds each, and one that is 5 and you have to decide which is the best opportunity to use that short timer. I don’t know what such a level would look like, but I’m not really a content creator.

Offline Proxima

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Re: [SUG] The re-introduction of Timed Bombers
« Reply #22 on: May 10, 2021, 04:40:44 AM »
The setting could be something like bombTimer=5 for a 5 second timer, or bombTimer=20 for a 20 second timer and bombTimer=0 for an untimed bomber. Maybe a level is designed that needs multiple different bomb timers?

The only way a level can need different bomb timers is if assignment 5 seconds before the explosion would be impossible due to requiring another assignment on the same frame -- a scenario that's only possible if the bomber assignment also has to be frame-precise. This level of precision is bad anyway, and especially bad with timed bombers, so I don't think tweaking the engine to validate such ideas is a good plan. Otherwise, if you need a bomber to explode at a certain time, you can always assign the bomber [length of timer] before you want it to go off. All that's gained by having variable timers is that players can't rely on their knowledge of how far a walker (or another skill) travels in 5 seconds -- which rather takes away the whole point of returning to timed bombers in the first place.

Offline WillLem

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Re: [SUG] The re-introduction of Timed Bombers
« Reply #23 on: May 10, 2021, 08:31:48 AM »
it doesn’t have to be a simple on/off setting.

The setting could be something like bombTimer=5 for a 5 second timer, or bombTimer=20 for a 20 second timer and bombTimer=0 for an untimed bomber

HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!

I like this idea! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

This is likely to be a "the more I think about it, the more I like it" idea, so I'll come back and comment on this again when I've had time to process it more fully.

Offline Charles

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Re: [SUG] The re-introduction of Timed Bombers
« Reply #24 on: May 10, 2021, 01:36:23 PM »
This is entirely subjective, but my favourite levels have always been the ones that deal with timing and resource management -- not pixel hunting.  I love the recurring theme in the original game where they'd give you the same level you'd done before but with a different (and more limited) skill set.

By timing I mean how in some levels, you can do everything perfect... get your single scout ahead of the pack, set up the rest of the level, but then find you've taken too long and there's not enough time for the rest of the herd to reach the exit.

I can picture a few scenarios that could make use of different bomb timers, that have nothing to do with frame precision. The key is limited resources. In any given level I would prefer to use the bomber with the lowest timer -- it's closer to the point of action and easier all around. Buuut if I'm only given one of those, and 10 bombers with a longer timer, I have to choose carefully when to use my "easy" bomber.  Resource management.

It really harkens back to the original game for me, in the Blockers and Bombers level... they establish there that if you want pixel-perfect bombing placement, you need to use 2 resources. If you don't have both resources, you just need to do your best.

Another scenario would be if you're given a long level with 2 bombers: a 300 second bomber, and a 5 second bomber. The catch is the whole level ends in 360 seconds.  So you need to lock the bulk of your herd up as quick as you can to still have time to reach the exit while your 2 scouts go ahead and prep the level (one spot of which requires bombing one of the scouts to get through a thin barrier).  If you don't get your initial blocker in place quick enough then you have to deal with all the lemmings under foot while you try to work.

I fully admit that these types of levels are not for every player, and probably for even fewer level designers -- there could be a LOT of bad levels using a multi-timer layout.  But I do firmly believe there are some good levels waiting to be made that can use this mechanic.

Offline WillLem

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Re: [SUG] The re-introduction of Timed Bombers
« Reply #25 on: May 10, 2021, 02:20:47 PM »
I fully admit that these types of levels are not for every player, and probably for even fewer level designers -- there could be a LOT of bad levels using a multi-timer layout.  But I do firmly believe there are some good levels waiting to be made that can use this mechanic.

The main query I have about the multi-timer idea is that there would have to be some way of differentiating which was which on the skill panel; if you have a level with, say, 10 different Bomber timings, how would it be implemented from a UI point of view?

It's certainly not a bad idea in theory, but may be too far away from "classic lems" to be

...

Hmm. I had to take a phone call and forgot what I was going to type :forehead: :P

Offline Charles

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Re: [SUG] The re-introduction of Timed Bombers
« Reply #26 on: May 10, 2021, 02:31:56 PM »
Could be the clicking on the Bombers icon brings up a sub-panel where you select specifically which bomber option you want to use. Or if using keyboard hotkeys pressing 6 (is it that one?) multiple times cycles through which bomber is selected.

I dunno. I do think having 10 different timer options is excessive. But I can see value in there being 2 or 3 different bomb timers in one level.

Just to be clear though, I'm not saying I want multiple timer options -- I'm quite content with just the classic 5-second timer only -- but I thought it was an overlooked option worth mentioning, which could be put to use by some skilled content creators.

Edit to add: I think it's worth remembering too, that having the the level designer specify the length of the timer for the only bombers in a level is a different concept than specifying multiple timed bombers. Each may have their place.

Offline Tsyu

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Re: [SUG] The re-introduction of Timed Bombers
« Reply #27 on: May 11, 2021, 06:50:28 AM »
To be honest, I would rather just bring back the 5-second timed bombers and do away with untimed bombers. Having the level or level pack determine which type to use may cause player frustration due to not knowing in advance which one the level uses. Then again, SuperLemmini already allows levels to modify certain game mechanics (such as fall distance and steel), so maybe an option like this would be OK to implement...

I'm not a fan of having multiple types bomber skills available at once. That would require having more skills on the toolbar and new hotkeys for the additional types. It would also require new icons. All this just so the player can choose how long the bomb timer should last. Yeah, doesn't sound good to me.

Offline WillLem

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Re: [SUG] The re-introduction of Timed Bombers
« Reply #28 on: May 11, 2021, 08:20:19 AM »
To be honest, I would rather just bring back the 5-second timed bombers and do away with untimed bombers.

Noooooooo! :forehead: :forehead: :forehead:

Then again, SuperLemmini already allows levels to modify certain game mechanics (such as fall distance and steel), so maybe an option like this would be OK to implement...

Phew! For sure, I'm thinking that an untimedBomber=true line in the .ini would be good. Just keep it as the two options (5 second timer or untimed), and let this be the way to implement it in a level.

I'm not a fan of having multiple types bomber skills available at once. That would require having more skills on the toolbar and new hotkeys for the additional types

Agreed. It seems a nice idea, but its implementation is too messy, and one of the main attractions of SuperLemmini is the simplicity of its interface. Good call.

But yeah, don't remove Untimed Bombers altogether! Let it be like the 'Superlemming' feature - something that can be enabled on a per-level basis.

Offline kaywhyn

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Re: [SUG] The re-introduction of Timed Bombers
« Reply #29 on: May 11, 2021, 09:34:00 AM »
But yeah, don't remove Untimed Bombers altogether! Let it be like the 'Superlemming' feature - something that can be enabled on a per-level basis.

Keep in mind that Superlemmini had timed bombers for a really long time, from v.90 all the way up through v.102b, according to the Dropbox link Tsyu provided. That's pretty much 2-3 years! Interestingly enough, after playing through RotL on Lemmini a few weeks ago, I'm now not so sure how I feel about timed bombers returning, although I certainly don't mind them coming back, as I do miss them. Let's just say that they're a huge pain depending on the level. In particular, Herculems was probably the most frustrating level to do with timed bombers, as it pretty much requires 3 extremely pixel precise bombers. At least in my solution :P Pretty much what I'm saying is that I'm in agreement with keeping untimed bombers, although again I can certainly live with only timed bombers, though in this case having the ability to rewind/backwards framestepping would be a complete blessing 

Since all the past Superlemmini versions are now available, if you wanted to you could always download one of the previous versions for the timed bombers, with the most recent one being v.102b. Unfortunately, I don't think there's a way to have separate Superlemmini versions on the same device. Meaning, it's not possible to have both a v.102b and v.104a at the same time on the same computer. Indeed, it will ask you to extract the files every time. Also, you won't have the most recent fixes that are in v.103 and v.104 if you decide to use v.102b.

In contrast, I believe NL once had an option for timed or untimed bombers. It might had been on a per pack basis. Eventually, it was decided to simply make bombers untimed after having the option for a short while?
« Last Edit: May 11, 2021, 09:40:05 AM by kaywhyn »
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Offline grams88

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Re: [SUG] The re-introduction of Timed Bombers
« Reply #30 on: May 11, 2021, 10:41:18 PM »
Hi Everyone

I'm a timed bombers fan.  I think my main reason would be that I like trying to time it even though you can go back in the replay if you get it wrong.  There's an art to the whole timed bombers and getting it right can sometimes make a good puzzle idea. I'm one who likes to stick to the game as it was originally, usually this would be with all video games, I don't like straying too much from the original game. I think if we do stray from the original game and that has been done with many times it feels like a new game. That would be my opinion, I know it probably won't be the most popular opinion.  Another reason would be that if we do change things like that in the game it will make earlier levels or works not work properly. I'm one who likes levels with the original skills only as of the levels packs I've made they have the original eight skills only. You can make fantastic puzzles with just the eight standard skills. I hope we still have lots of level packs with just the original eight skills.

(I technically blame myself for that as I've not been keeping up with the new skills or anything like that).

I played the Sonic CD which I think was a remastered version, I was looking at it before just to see if it was a remastered version where it is basically the original game but more visually friendly and that kind of thing.

Offline kaywhyn

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Re: [SUG] The re-introduction of Timed Bombers
« Reply #31 on: May 12, 2021, 02:52:16 AM »
I'm a timed bombers fan. I'm one who likes to stick to the game as it was originally, usually this would be with all video games, I don't like straying too much from the original game. I think if we do stray from the original game and that has been done with many times it feels like a new game. That would be my opinion, I know it probably won't be the most popular opinion.  Another reason would be that if we do change things like that in the game it will make earlier levels or works not work properly. I'm one who likes levels with the original skills only as of the levels packs I've made they have the original eight skills only.

I pretty much agree with all the points you made here, grams88 ;) I too am a traditionalist when it comes to Lemmings. This was a huge reason why I avoided Neolemmix and that I was simply content with sticking to Lemmini/Superlemmini for a really long time before I finally took the plunge into all the NL stuff near the end of 2019. Before that, to me NL made Lemmings just way too different from the game that I grew up with in the 90s. In particular, I'm one of the few who doesn't mind time limits, and so I was quite put off by how levels can have infinite time in NL. Granted, Superlemmini supports infinite time as well, although there currently aren't too many levels with no time limit in that engine. Also, AFAIK all packs currently available on Superlemmini, including the converted packs, can all be done with timed bombers, so luckily none are broken with them.

Quote
You can make fantastic puzzles with just the eight standard skills. I hope we still have lots of level packs with just the original eight skills.

Absolutely! Levels with just the classic 8 skills can be really great and challenging puzzles if done correctly. Nepsterlems is one such pack which I still haven't finished as I'm currently stumped on the first level of the final rank and have been for nearly a year. Long before I reached that point, the pack was already quite difficult in many places.

Although there's still a lot of room for improvement and many levels in the pack I wasn't a fan of, I must say you did quite decent with Nuked Lems. It was definitely a very challenging pack that I ended up struggling a lot with, but I still enjoyed it. I still need to go through your Ski Sloped pack, but based on what you said I'm going to guess it's also a classic skills only pack.

The interesting thing was that before the LDC #22 playing phase I made a prediction that a R1 level would be the winner of it all, since that was the "traditionalist rule." Turns out it was a correct prediction. Seems like there's so much more traditionalists on the forums than I think there are. Either that or it was just simply the easiest rule to work with out of the other two rules in that contest. You definitely would had loved that rule very much :) I enjoyed solving so many of the R1 levels in the contest.
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Offline WillLem

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Re: [SUG] The re-introduction of Timed Bombers
« Reply #32 on: May 12, 2021, 01:43:08 PM »
Nepsterlems is one such pack which I still haven't finished

Is Nepsterlems available for SuperLemmini...? :lem-mindblown:

If not, I think it may well be worth converting it if anyone has an early-formats copy of it!

Offline kaywhyn

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Re: [SUG] The re-introduction of Timed Bombers
« Reply #33 on: May 12, 2021, 01:51:49 PM »
Is Nepsterlems available for SuperLemmini...? :lem-mindblown:
If not, I think it may well be worth converting it if anyone has an early-formats copy of it!

No, not currently, but the Old Formats version is indeed available for download in the level pack topic
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