Author Topic: [Lemmings 2] Tribes of Steel - WIP Thread (2 tribes complete)  (Read 540 times)

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Online Ste Woz Ere

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The summer solstice has recently passed, and the sun shines down upon you L2 fans...for I can now reveal my level pack in progress - Tribes of Steel!

Apparently someone discovered a prophecy that foretells the death of all lemkind, so the 12 tribes were all told to assemble at their base camps (prefabs erected just in case something like this would happen) with their talisman piece and embark on a journey to the centre of the island in order to escape certain doom.

Note: Current version info can be found at the bottom of this post, as that's where the download link will be.

==========
The Background
==========

A few months ago, I played Quest from Kieran 2 and was enthralled by it - so much so, that I still had thoughts about it long after I'd finished...and recently they persuaded me to have a go at L2 editing myself. One concept level and a bit of learning time on the editors later, and I think it's Thunder-Lemmings are Go!

Based on the same concept as QFK2* with some concepts of my own too, this is a full 120-level replacement. While I'm no stranger to level design (I made concept-based Doom/Heretic/Hexen level packs for 10-15 years), I doubt I'll be able to hit the puzzling heights of QFK2. I will try though, and the new level+skill combos are already bearing fruit. Besides, I've got plenty of ideas up my sleeve to ensure it looks, feels and plays differently (and it's showing already in the levels I've done so far). I'm hoping it'll end up somewhere between QFK2 and the original game on the quality scale (preferably closer to QFK2 ofc), but as long as it plays differently I don't mind.

And just in case you are worried about the execution side and the engine's quirks...there's always DOSBox with savestates. Not quite as sophisticated as NL, but it does the trick. (and given what happened when I played QFK3, there won't be any ridiculous manoeuvres requiring savestate abuse)

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated, as I'm no expert. If you manage to break a level, please let me know what you did (I'm bound to miss things, esp. given that you guys have played a lot more than me). I don't really know much about glitches either, so there's bound to be a few somewhere.

=========
The Concepts
=========

Each tribe has it's own fixed set of themed skills - like QFK2*, but with many changes. (nearly all tribes have 1-4 differing skills)
The first level of each tribe is exactly the same - but with different skills each time. (some are easy, some are hard)
The last level of each tribe has 10 (!) trapdoors - ensuring an epic finale. (having groups of 6 lemmings will open up a new set of solutions)
Each tribe requires the full 60 lemmings (50 in Classic) to reach the end. (Classic level names will end in a number, to show the death count)

* it partly feels like I'm ripping off the idea, so I apologise for that. But it is how I would've made the original L2 if it was me. Together with my own concepts and challenges, I'm confident it will play differently to QFK2.

=======
The Tribes
=======

It wouldn't be complete without a sneak preview, so here it is. Only the first level is shown so far, the screenies will gradually be replaced as each tribe is completed.

Highland - The ancient clans used to bombard each other until the mighty Angus McLem brokered a peace treaty, and battles became sporting contests. Now they must put aside their differences and head south, using their regimental skills with their love of outdoor pursuits and ancestral song+dance habits to traverse the foreboding mountains.



Circus - Roll up, roll up, it's the Greatest Show on Earth! (well, this little patch of it) Music, bright lights and balloons, spectacular jumps and cannonballs, all topped off with the amazing Superlem! But someone should tell them to stop clowning around and start travelling again. (preferably not using a car that falls to bits)




Classic - What is there to say about these guys? While their methods have been tried, tested and proven effective all throughout history, they still subscribe to the old beliefs that lemmings like walking off cliffs and going pop in the night. Let's hope that at least half of them manage to make it with their gold talisman piece.



Medieval - The Kingdom of Lemmand has built many fine castles all over the land, along with weapons and siege engines to cope with centuries of war...now the knights must march to glory. These skills are surely going to be put to the test in their noble quest to meet the rest.



Egyptian - Gods. Ancient Gods, and lots of them. Lots of tombs to explore, lots of pots to fill up, lots of work to do. If only their Magic Carpets could carry it all to the underworld, but they're too unstable and in any case it's a logistical nightmare...moreso than building pyramids without modern technology.



Outdoor - "I'm a lumberjack and I'm ok!" But this lot aren't, as they don't cut down trees. Instead they take to the skies, the land, the water and ofc the veggie patch. Armed to the teeth with shovels and old WW2 ordnance they dug up previously, it's a long hard trek across the wilderness.



Beach - The sun's out and it's party time - if only we'd booked a DJ, man! Just as well really, as the tide's coming in like really fast and we need to scramble, dude! Grab what you can...I'm sure those gliders, surfboards and parasols will be useful somewhere along the way. And don't forget the bucket and spade!



Sports - The Modern Lemathlon is a regional obsession. Comprised of running, fencing, archery, pole vault and obstacle racing, it's a tough all-round challenge that demands a lot of training and dedication. Surely then, Team GL will be the most adept at dashing to the centre of the island with their piece of the World Trophy? Not if that notorious green landscape has anything to do with it...



Shadow - Ninjas. Now you see them, now you don't. Swords and shuriken are out, as they replaced the old ways with modern methods. If they're not engaging in parkour across the city, they're setting off explosions from up close and afar. Which does kinda defeat the point of sneaking around. Let's hope they can navigate the streets and reach the centre hideout before the time runs out and the baddie wins. (this message will now self-destruct in 5 seconds)



Cavelem - Thousands of years ago, lemmings first appeared on the island and somehow survived all the evolution since then. But after passing out of all knowledge for so long, their talisman piece has been found and they now must take it deep into the central mountain and cast it into the fire (or so they think). And to make things worse, they can't use the Icarus to fly all the way there because it would fill a plot hole or something.



Space - These pioneers of technology have managed to establish a moon base right here on this very island. They could teleport straight to the ark, except that they lost their talisman piece during a wormhole experiment some time ago. So they must go boldly where no lemming has gone before, and retrieve it using their futuristic tools accompanied by retro synth music.



Polar - Brrr, it's cold up north! But the Lem's Watch are well used to it, and have built many things...from igloos to research stations. They're also good tunnellers, by virtue of having to constantly clear snow away. With all this and their traditional winter pastimes, can they cross the frozen North while avoiding zombies (they carry fire, just in case) and escape the prophecy?



=========
How to Install
=========

Back up your current /LEVELS/ folder within Lemmings 2, then extract the contents of the zip into there, overwriting the existing files. (note that only some will be overwritten until all the tribes are complete)

How to run Lemmings 2 in DOSBox

If you wish to play with the Amiga music instead, grab them from this thread and play externally. (with the PC music turned off)

https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=1803.msg44855#msg44855

========
How to Play
========

You have to manually save the game from the main menu, in between levels.

Keyboard shortcuts:

ESC: Quick Restart
F1 - F8: Skills 1-8 (sadly not as usable as L1, particularly on levels not using all 8 skills)
SPACE: Fan (required for several skills)
P: Pause (you can also unpause by pressing Space, if you want the fan ready when you do)
ENTER: Fast Forward (you can also cancel this by pressing Space, if you want the fan ready when you do)

If using DOSBox with savestates (highly recommended), you also have these:

ALT+F5: Save state
ALT+F6: Previous slot
ALT+F7: Next slot
ALT+F9: Load state

(10 save slots in total, with wraparound when selecting)

I still recommend saving your game manually too.

==============
Current Version - 3.1 
(download link at the bottom of the post)
==============

2 tribes complete. (Highland, Circus)

=====
Credits
(so far)
=====

geoo - for creating both L2Suite (excellent editor/organiser) and PCL2Ed. (which is required occasionally)
GuyPerfect - for creating lgl2. (the main level editor)
kieranmillar - for creating QFK2. (the amazing level pack that inspired me to follow in it's footsteps)

Feedback credits will be added later.

======
Footnote
======

This is a new journey for me (and an unexpected one too), but the ideas are coming thick and fast. I hope to complete it by the time the winter solstice has recently passed, but will probably end up in next year. Either way, only the 3rd full Lemmings 2 game in 30 years will be something to look forward to!
« Last Edit: July 24, 2021, 07:55:57 PM by Ste Woz Ere »

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Re: [Lemmings 2] Tribes of Steel - WIP Thread
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2021, 10:27:00 PM »

just want to say this (basically any L2 project) is a huge undertaking so good job so far! I want to play, can't promise that I will but I will try, and I'll be sure to comment!
In any case these levels look nice and well done; I like the same concept of the same layout in all the styles.
"remember the strategy against feeling powerless: 1. become more conscious about yourself, your actions and the world around you, 2. take every opportunity for solidarity, support people and organizations, who are active at the "front" and 3rd. Be grateful for the good you hold in your hand and share it generously. This way you will have an enormous effect - little drops of water, little grains of sand, make the mighty ocean and the beautiful land" -Andreas Vollenweider


Online Ste Woz Ere

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Re: [Lemmings 2] Tribes of Steel - WIP Thread
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2021, 12:10:18 AM »
Well, I've only gone and done it...my first ever L2 tribe. Only 1 skill change from QFK2 but it's made a hell of a difference.

I've tried to make sure they are breakproof, but I'm sure there will still be some...please have a go and let me know if you find any. (I'm aware of one backroute that's still in, but it's harder to pull off than the intended route - see if you can find it!)

See the OP for download. (attachment at the bottom)

====================
Version 2.0 has been released
====================

Highland - tribe is now complete.
Highland 1 (Base Camp) - updated the grassy bit to look better.

(note: only the Highland intro level is in this version, the others will release with their respective tribes)

Online Ste Woz Ere

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Re: [Lemmings 2] Tribes of Steel - WIP Thread
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2021, 09:59:03 AM »
Looks like I missed a couple of things after releasing it...


====================
Version 2.1 has been released
====================

Highland 4 (Lemfidditch Distillery) - reworked the level slightly, added 1 roper. (which I'd removed just before release)
Highland 9 (Sky-High Installation) - reduced mortars to 12. (I'd removed a mortar section just before release, but forgot the skills)

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Re: [Lemmings 2] Tribes of Steel - WIP Thread
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2021, 11:16:51 AM »
I'm enjoying this now. Coming up with ways to use different skills, and I also had two extra "skills" to play with in this tribe...cannons and trampolines. No gimmicks like in the original game, they actually get used in puzzles here. (I even put in extra trapdoors so there are less lemmings needing to use the cannons)

Apologies to the anti-twister folks, but I promise it won't happen again - in fact nearly all destructive skills appear in 2 tribes each, it just so happens that the twister is in the first 2.


====================
Version 3.0 has been released
====================

Circus - tribe is now complete.
Circus 1 (Base Camp) - retextured it to match the colour scheme I used throughout the tribe.

There will be changes coming to the Highland levels in the next release, but I need a short break to take care of RL stuff.

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Re: [Lemmings 2] Tribes of Steel - WIP Thread
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2021, 07:56:00 PM »
Some early private feedback has uncovered a few Highland issues, along with some file copying errors that made certain levels go missing. I'm still not entirely sure on my design philosophy, which seems very different to QFK2's...I'd be interested to hear any thoughts on that and ways to improve it.


====================
Version 3.1 has been released
====================

All Highland levels should be properly available, following various file copying errors.

Highland 3 (McLem's Drunken Dream) - replaced the tricky cloud throw at the start with a bottle of whisky. (what else?)
Highland 4 (Lemfidditch Distillery) - reworked the level a bit, since it was causing trouble. Roper and rock climber removed, throwers down to 10.
Highland 5 (Lembank Docks) - slight tweak to the middle of the top section, to simplify it.
Highland 6 (The Iron-Rich Mountain) - added water across parts of the level, to stop the crawling glitch. (I'm a noob when it comes to knowing about these)
Highland 7 (Artillery Range) - fixed backroute involving a downward-mortar trick.
Highland 8 (Loch Lemond Storage Tank) - removed hanging scenery from the cavern's right-side sloping ceiling, to make the roper/twister bit a little easier to handle.
Highland 9 (Sky-High Installation) - fixed backroute involving a downward-mortar trick and a somewhat clever rescue of the middle trapdoor. Also simplified the top half of the shaft climb, made the top twister section more forgiving and reduced mortars to 10.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2021, 07:26:22 AM by Ste Woz Ere »

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Re: [Lemmings 2] Tribes of Steel - WIP Thread (2 tribes complete)
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2021, 09:01:40 PM »
Amazing to see another big Lemmings 2 pack in the works. There's still so much more potential still to explore in Lemmings 2. I'm happy to playtest this and will try to find some time this week to record my first look at every level you make, I should have some time for a quick first look now, after making this post. I feel I should help give feedback on new Lemmings 2 levels and continue to encourage people to join me in making levels for Lemmings 2. The 10-level tribe concept is really fun to develop for, despite the quirks and limitations of building Lemmings 2 levels.

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Re: [Lemmings 2] Tribes of Steel - WIP Thread (2 tribes complete)
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2021, 11:05:20 PM »
I am going to record all of my first looks, as I feel this is the best way to give feedback, you get to see my entire process of trying levels and the things I do. Today I only had time to look at the first 3 Circus levels.

Note that I may end up changing my comments as I work through the level, so don't be put off by my initial Twister moaning in Circus 2 and worries of the time limit, in the end it was a tremendously good level.

Not sure if I broke Circus 3.

Sorry for the poor framerate in places. Did not notice it until editing afterwards, not sure what's going on there. I didn't use to have this problem, I'll have to investigate to fix future videos.

https://youtu.be/bFlsC6ACw6E

Online Ste Woz Ere

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Thanks for the opening feedback, very much appreciated :)

It's interesting (and kinda weird) to see my levels on YT and watching people try different ways to solve them, before finding a way past that I didn't think of :P (with some of the levels so far)

Spoiler (click to show/hide)