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 1217 times)

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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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