Author Topic: [SUG][EDITOR] Levels with no exit  (Read 1742 times)

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Offline Proxima

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[SUG][EDITOR] Levels with no exit
« on: October 02, 2021, 03:09:22 PM »
During building of a level, it is quite common to have no exit, simply because you haven't yet built the part of the level that will contain it. It is also quite common to want to playtest the level, for instance to check how many skills it takes to get from A to B, before the exit has been placed.

Even though a level, by default, starts with 40 lemmings and a save requirement of 20, when there is no exit then NL changes the save requirement to 0. This means that any playtesting of the level will be a successful completion, and will result in saving a junk replay. While these don't take up much space, generating junk files can be an annoyance and can make it harder to find replays that you actually want.

I suggest that either exitless levels don't have the save requirement changed to 0, or if there's some other reason why that has to be kept, don't autosave replays on levels with a requirement of 0.

Offline namida

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Re: [SUG][EDITOR] Levels with no exit
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2021, 07:18:56 PM »
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I suggest that either exitless levels don't have the save requirement changed to 0, or if there's some other reason why that has to be kept, don't autosave replays on levels with a requirement of 0.

Firstly - this is something NL, not the editor, does.

Anyway, this is basically just a specific case of a general rule - "the save requirement cannot exceed the total exit capacity" (ie: the lemming cap of all exits on the level combined, which would be zero if there are no exits, and infinite if there's any non-limited exits). For the record, it also can't exceed the lemming count (including potential lemmings resulting from cloners).

My preferred action here would be to not autosave replay when save requirement is zero, yeah.

Offline WillLem

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Re: [SUG][EDITOR] Levels with no exit
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2021, 12:13:08 AM »
Hmm.

When I first spotted this title I thought it was regarding an idea to have exitless levels with some other completion criteria...

Maybe levels with a save requirement of 0 could have no exit, and be completed when all lemmings have died. This would solve the above problem (i.e. replay wouldn't be generated until all lemmings have died), and would also allow for the creation of karoshi levels, where the idea is to get the lem count to 0.

Or - maybe levels with no exit and a save requirement higher than that of the total number of spawned lemmings could be completed when the correct number of cloners have been used to populate the level with the required number of lems. Doing so would end the level and generate a replay.

Possible?

Offline namida

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Re: [SUG][EDITOR] Levels with no exit
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2021, 06:08:42 PM »
Hmm.

When I first spotted this title I thought it was regarding an idea to have exitless levels with some other completion criteria...

Maybe levels with a save requirement of 0 could have no exit, and be completed when all lemmings have died. This would solve the above problem (i.e. replay wouldn't be generated until all lemmings have died), and would also allow for the creation of karoshi levels, where the idea is to get the lem count to 0.

Or - maybe levels with no exit and a save requirement higher than that of the total number of spawned lemmings could be completed when the correct number of cloners have been used to populate the level with the required number of lems. Doing so would end the level and generate a replay.

Possible?

This would be covered under the "no new suggestions" policies and even if not, would be rejected anyway.

This topic is simply about not clogging up the replays folder with a bunch of junk replays from levels with a 0 save requirement due to lack of an exit.

There are basically three possible outcomes here - (a) nothing changes, (b) replays stop getting autosaved on levels with a 0 save requirement (perhaps unless at least one lemming is actually saved), or (c) a special case is introduced where the "save requirement gets capped to number of lemmings that there's exit capacity for" rule doesn't get applied on levels with no exits.

Another solution of a similar magnitude could be considered if it addresses the concern, but a whole new way of playing is absolutely not going to come of this, nor is Karoshi returning in any form, nor is any new gameplay feature that isn't the new objects at this point.

Offline Proxima

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Re: [SUG][EDITOR] Levels with no exit
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2021, 06:21:59 PM »
Namida is right, of course, but I'd like to say a couple of things that might soften the blow.

While Karoshi might feel like a fun gimmick, in puzzle terms it's just exchanging the functions of traps and exits, so it doesn't really enable any puzzles that you can't already make. I know this may not be very convincing to you, as you prefer the game to have more variety rather than just be a tool to facilitate puzzle creation, but considering the current state of the community, if the gimmick were to be offered then people would in general be most interested in its puzzle potential.

Your second idea of simply populating the level really doesn't work, because the player could use all their cloners immediately to finish a level before it has even started. The only way it could work would be if the player has to collect cloner pickups -- but then the concept is just "get to all these places on the level", which can already be done with buttons and a locked exit.

Offline namida

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Re: [SUG][EDITOR] Levels with no exit
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2021, 06:23:50 PM »
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so it doesn't really enable any puzzles that you can't already make
I would say that there are some slight differences - in particular, the fact that a fatal fall can be your "exit" in a Karoshi level, but also how Swimmers and Disarmers may affect solution elements - but still overall not enough to justify it, especially considering it was one of the more awkward ones code-wise.

Offline WillLem

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Re: [SUG][EDITOR] Levels with no exit
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2021, 05:25:13 AM »
This would be covered under the "no new suggestions" policies and even if not, would be rejected anyway.
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Another solution of a similar magnitude could be considered if it addresses the concern, but a whole new way of playing is absolutely not going to come of this

To be fair, it's not a "new suggestion" as such, it's simply a different way of determining when a level is "solved". At present, levels with no exit have a save requirement of 0, but can never be "solved", as such (I'm not sure what actually triggers the replay at the moment tbf). My suggestion is merely that the lem count reaching 0 would fulfil the criteria which already exists, for the purposes of generating a replay and solving the level.

The same applies to the cloner idea. No new mechanics or objects are being introduced.

considering the current state of the community, if the gimmick were to be offered then people would in general be most interested in its puzzle potential

Sure, me too ;P

I know I often base my suggestions on criteria other than puzzle potential, but for the most part I too am interested in this as well, of course.

in particular, the fact that a fatal fall can be your "exit" in a Karoshi level, but also how Swimmers and Disarmers may affect solution elements - but still overall not enough to justify it

If it's possible for a level to have a save requirement of 0 and no exit, could the "solve criteria" for such levels simply be remove all lemmings from play area, or is it not that simple?

I am asking purely out of curiosity now btw, I'm aware it's been rejected as a viable suggestion.

Offline namida

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Re: [SUG][EDITOR] Levels with no exit
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2021, 07:20:07 AM »
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To be fair, it's not a "new suggestion" as such, it's simply a different way of determining when a level is "solved". At present, levels with no exit have a save requirement of 0, but can never be "solved", as such (I'm not sure what actually triggers the replay at the moment tbf). My suggestion is merely that the lem count reaching 0 would fulfil the criteria which already exists, for the purposes of generating a replay and solving the level.

The same applies to the cloner idea. No new mechanics or objects are being introduced.

As a general rule - if you need an entire paragraph to explain how an idea does not fall under the kinds of suggestions that are no longer accepted, it probably does fall under those kinds of suggestions.

Offline Simon

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Re: [SUG][EDITOR] Levels with no exit
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2021, 06:18:00 AM »
levels with no exit have a save requirement of 0, but can never be "solved", as such (I'm not sure what actually triggers the replay

I assume: The game doesn't care about the specific moment where the physics become solved. The end-of-level screen merely looks at the stats of the finished attempt and concludes that it is solved.

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(c) a special case is introduced where the "save requirement gets capped to number of lemmings that there's exit capacity for" rule doesn't get applied on levels with no exits.

Weak preference for this (c). Then, the game displays the proper value of the level field during no-exit playtest. Or do you want to allow sandbox maps with a save requirement 0 in non-playtesting?

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Offline namida

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Re: [SUG][EDITOR] Levels with no exit
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2021, 09:01:28 AM »
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Or do you want to allow sandbox maps with a save requirement 0 in non-playtesting?

There would be no reason such a level couldn't still exist, simply by manually setting the save requirement to zero.

Offline WillLem

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Re: [SUG][EDITOR] Levels with no exit
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2021, 10:52:44 PM »
As a general rule - if you need an entire paragraph to explain how an idea does not fall under the kinds of suggestions that are no longer accepted, it probably does fall under those kinds of suggestions.

Fair enough, I'll bear that in mind.

I still believe that my suggestion doesn't change anything about the game, only when NL considers a 0-save-req + no exit level to be "solved" (i.e. when no lems remain). That seems to make sense, and doesn't involve introducing any gimmicks or new physics or anything.

At present, there is no way to "solve" a 0-save-req + no exit level, hence why replays are generated inappropriately.

Offline namida

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Re: [SUG][EDITOR] Levels with no exit
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2021, 06:15:07 PM »
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At present, there is no way to "solve" a 0-save-req + no exit level, hence why replays are generated inappropriately.

Yes there is - you simply start playing such a level, and bam, you have immediately solved it. By definition, you have solved a level when you have rescued a number of lemmings equal to or greater than the save requirement, which happens immediately at the start of gameplay if the save requirement is zero, regardless of how many exits the level does or does not contain.

The ONLY possible outcomes here are, as detailed in reply #3:

Quote
(a) nothing changes, (b) replays stop getting autosaved on levels with a 0 save requirement (perhaps unless at least one lemming is actually saved), or (c) a special case is introduced where the "save requirement gets capped to number of lemmings that there's exit capacity for" rule doesn't get applied on levels with no exits.

Even these technically fall outside the acceptable suggestions at this point, but I am choosing to make a special case because (a) there is a very good reason behind it, and (b) both of the options that aren't "do nothing" there are extremely trivial to implement, as in, it would take less time to make one of those changes than it has taken me to write this post.

The only further discussion I want to see in this topic is about which one of THOSE THREE options is preferred. If you want to talk about hypothetical alternative modes, while you are certianly free to do so, you will need to do so in another topic, outside of the Bugs & Suggestions boards (such as the main NeoLemmix board or the general Lemmings Main) - and understand that it is near-certain that they will remain purely hypothetical.

Offline namida

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Re: [SUG][EDITOR] Levels with no exit
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2021, 01:40:46 AM »
I've given this a bit of further thought and decided to go with a change that is very slightly different from those proposals - specifically, that a replay will not automatically save if it would be empty (ie: no assignments, nukes or RR changes occur).

In the event that the player wants a replay for completeness on a self-solving level, the option to manually save it would remain available.

I do realise that this doesn't completely solve the original situation as a whole, but only some specific cases of it. However - I feel it is wrong to assume the player doesn't want to save replays in the case of an incomplete level. On the other hand, nothing is lost by not saving an empty replay. The other thing that comes to mind - how often would one actually have some junk replays, then a solve replay, then followed by more junk ones, for the same level? I would assume - but feel free to correct me if I'm overlooking something - that simply going to the last replay in the folder for a given level, would generally mean you find the actual solution one.

Offline WillLem

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Re: [SUG][EDITOR] Levels with no exit
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2021, 11:38:55 PM »
I am choosing to make a special case because (a) there is a very good reason behind it, and (b) both of the options that aren't "do nothing" there are extremely trivial to implement, as in, it would take less time to make one of those changes than it has taken me to write this post.

Ah. In that case, my apologies... and, thank you for taking the time to explain this :)

I feel it is wrong to assume the player doesn't want to save replays in the case of an incomplete level. On the other hand, nothing is lost by not saving an empty replay. The other thing that comes to mind - how often would one actually have some junk replays, then a solve replay, then followed by more junk ones, for the same level? I would assume - but feel free to correct me if I'm overlooking something - that simply going to the last replay in the folder for a given level, would generally mean you find the actual solution one.

Agreed, this seems like the best solution overall.

Offline Dullstar

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Re: [SUG][EDITOR] Levels with no exit
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2021, 03:46:32 AM »
I like the proposed solution, but I'd still want the option to prevent autosaving replays in levels with no exit, as usually by the time a level is developed enough that I actually want to save a replay of an incomplete level, there'll probably be an exit (of course, manually saving should still be allowed). While it's true you can find the most recent one, it still creates some clutter that I have to either dig through to find the replay I actually want, or clutter that I have to periodically clean out. And if I want to clean them out, then I have to go check again which ones I actually want to keep and which ones are just clutter. It's much easier to manage when obviously undesirable replays don't get saved, and my habits are such that I can reliably predict that I won't want to save a replay on a level I'm working on with no exit.