Poll

What do you think the directions should be?

Both face towards the wall
7 (50%)
Both face away from the wall
4 (28.6%)
Climber faces towards the wall; Slider faces away from the wall
0 (0%)
Climber faces away from the wall; Slider faces towards the wall
0 (0%)
No opinion
3 (21.4%)

Total Members Voted: 14

Author Topic: [DISC][PLAYER] Direction faced by Climbers and Sliders after skill remover  (Read 2607 times)

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Offline namida

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When a Climber or Slider has their permanent skill removed while climbing or sliding, they obviously need to fall off the wall. The question is - should they fall facing towards the wall, or away from it?

My thought is that in both cases, they should fall facing away from the wall. My reasoning is - the only time they would face the same direction at the end of climbing / sliding, is if they reach a gap in the wall (counting the top / bottom as a gap, if it's open space rather than terrain jutting out). If they encounter terrain in their way, which is the only other outcome besides "end of the wall" that doesn't inherently contain a direction change anyway, they would turn around. (The other ways they could detach from the wall are if they're pushed off by a blocker, force field or splitter - all of which inherently carry a direction change - or by wall-jumping, which implies their direction would become "away from the wall" regardless of any other potential factor that might apply.)

From Discord, Proxima mentioned that the lemming facing towards the wall would feel like he's still sliding down it, so should face away. I personally feel this is a weaker argument, though not by any means an outright invalid one. A couple more users also favored away from the wall, though gave no reason, simply agreed with an existing reason from someone else, or put it down to a gut feeling or similar.

Also from Discord, IchoTolot has a different train of thought here - that the climber continues in the same direction when reaching his goal (empty space at the top of the wall), while the slider turns around when reaching his goal (a floor at the bottom of the wall). In all other cases that don't inherently carry a direction change anyway, the climber would turn around while the slider would not. In other words, except where an external factor forces a direction, the two skills are essentially opposites. This would also fit with how they're more or less the inverse of each other in the first place. As such, IchoTolot's view is that the climber should face away, but the slider should face towards, the wall.

One thing I noted is that I cannot think of any situation that relies on one behavior or the other. The other behavior would always be possible to simulate via force fields, if nothing else.
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Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Direction faced by Climbers and Sliders after skill remover
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2021, 05:09:37 AM »
I can think of 2 reasons why this is important:

1) It becomes a way to turn both a Climber and a Slider around. Whilst they do of course lose the skill thereafter, the turning around is achieved without any interaction with anything else.

2) If they fall facing towards, they have at least a 1-frame opportunity to interact with the wall upon reaching the ground (assuming it's not a deadly fall), whilst facing away means that they would have to turn around again to interact with it. Sure, the significance of this depends entirely on the design of the level, but it's clearly an important consideration either way.

There are probably other reasons as well. I favour facing away ever so slightly, but I don't feel too strongly about it at this stage.

Offline Dullstar

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Direction faced by Climbers and Sliders after skill remover
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2021, 11:23:37 PM »
I'd argue they should face towards the wall in both cases.

My reasoning for this is simple: the animation for both skills suggests that the lemming is facing the wall when interacting with it. The deassigner is a deassigner, not a turner. If the wall is still there when they reach the bottom, they'll turn around anyway, and if it's not, then they'll keep going the direction that they were visually facing when the skill was removed.

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Direction faced by Climbers and Sliders after skill remover
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2021, 02:52:05 AM »
Two things:

1. I have added a poll.
2. For at least the first public exp release, both will face away from the wall. (The face-toward behavior can be simulated by adding a force field, if desired.) This does not mean it cannot be changed later.
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Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Direction faced by Climbers and Sliders after skill remover
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2021, 08:03:54 PM »
I'd expect this to work the same way as with the Exhaustion gimmick back in the day when lemmings stopped performing their permanent skills. Of course, there were no Sliders back then, but I think Climbers turned around when falling, as if they had just hit their head.

I couldn't tell in kaywhyn's Lemmicks replays, because in the completed solutions, you usually don't see any Climbers quitting in the middle, since you have to find ways to prevent exactly that. kaywhyn, do you remember off the top of your head? ;) Otherwise I'll have to check again in the old editor.

I think the reason for the turnaround is the fact that Climbers (and now also Sliders) have their trigger one pixel inside the wall, i.e. at a point where a normal Walker or Faller would already have turned around.
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Offline kaywhyn

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Direction faced by Climbers and Sliders after skill remover
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2021, 08:49:36 PM »
Quote
I couldn't tell in kaywhyn's Lemmicks replays, because in the completed solutions, you usually don't see any Climbers quitting in the middle, since you have to find ways to prevent exactly that. kaywhyn, do you remember off the top of your head? ;) Otherwise I'll have to check again in the old editor.

With the exhaustion gimmick, climbers turn around when they lose the skill. This was my exact thought that when climbers go through the deassigner that they should fall facing away from the wall as well due to that’s how it was with the “exhaustion” gimmick. Basically, climbers lose the skill at the point just before the climb becomes a fatal fall so that the faller survives but just barely.
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Offline Dullstar

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Direction faced by Climbers and Sliders after skill remover
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2021, 08:41:57 AM »
While it's true that according to the physics, a climber/slider is inside the wall, and thus a walker would have turned around, ultimately that's an implementation detail that shouldn't matter most of the time. It doesn't really matter for climbers in typical situations, but for sliders it matters a lot more, and I really do think it makes the most sense to make the decision based on the information that's visually shown to the player: why would this one specific situation cause a lemming to turn around when it interacts with the object, whereas in other situations it doesn't? From the perspective of how the lemmings are treated internally, it makes sense for them to turn, but this requires players to understand a more complex rule (deassigners don't turn, unless climbing or sliding), whereas adding some additional rules to the internal physics to prevent the turn allows us to give the player a simpler rule: deassigners don't turn, ever.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Direction faced by Climbers and Sliders after skill remover
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2021, 09:20:35 AM »
Thanks, kaywhyn! I've voted accordingly now, i.e. that both Climber and Slider should turn around and face away from the wall if the skill gets removed.
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Offline IchoTolot

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Direction faced by Climbers and Sliders after skill remover
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2021, 04:36:09 PM »
Thinking again about it, I agree with Dullstar now.

A skill remover should only remove the skills from the the lem and not do anything additionally.

As a result in both cases the lemming should still face towards the wall.

Both the climber and the slider are facing the wall and even though they (usually) turn after the action they have indeed not turned yet and the skill assigner should not do that for them. That would be up to the wall after the fall if it reaches the ground.

Offline Simon

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Direction faced by Climbers and Sliders after skill remover
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2021, 04:59:17 PM »
I assume that "skill remover" means "ability remover" and not "activity canceller". With this given...

I wouldn't cancel the activity in the first place. :P

You will produce this wonderful discrepancy where climbers cancel, shimmiers keep doing what they do merely because of nonpermanence of a much-earlier skill assignment, and sliders again cancel.

All four options feel awkward: Ditch interesting gadget idea over this, make gadget but not have it cancel, make activity-cancelling gadget and turn lemming, make activity-cancelling gadget and face the wall.

If the choice is purely between cancel and turn, or cancel and not turn, hmmm... I feel like it's more natural to make the gadget non-turning, leading to falling lemmings that face the wall, always. But still unnatural.



What are the cases where we turn? How natural is the turning to the design?

Let's go back to the roots: Why is there turning at all in the climb activity? Climbers that hit ceiling turn. Ceil-hitters must turn because the skill's design doesn't work at all otherwise: Non-turning ceil-hitters would re-climb the wall over and over. Thus the turning is already tacked-on. necessarily part of at least one transition.

The exact same reason applies to exhaustion. The exhausted climber must turn, otherwise the gimmick design doesn't work and he would re-climb eternally.

Jumpers assigned to climbing lemmings make them turn and then jump from the wall; this design is unnatural in the first place, why can you even assign jumpers to climbers. That's a grotesque break from the assignment rules.

An argument for turning cancelling that doesn't depend on transitions: Nowhere else in the game do you produce falling facing the wall. You always fall facing away from the wall.

Another argument for turning: Since the pin of NL is in the wall during climbing, which is terrible leftover from L1 but, well, you're stuck with it, you would move the lemming backwards to have it fall. Nowhere in the game do lemmings move backwards. They always turn first and then move forwards.



That leaves us to look at the cases where the lemming already doesn't turn. Hoisting obviously, but we aren't near the top, so that shouldn't weigh too much.

Assume we assign exploder to the climber or shimmier. Which direction does an ohnoer face? I suppose they face the wall? Of course it doesn't matter much, but it's one of the few things that come close to what we want to decide.

Very close is also the vanishing of the wall while we're climbing/sliding. The climber will think that he's at the top and hoist, but that's leftover cruft from Lemmings 1 when they didn't consider much that you can do all kinds of weird things to the terrain. What does the slider do when another effect suddenly removes the wall?

Yeah, vanishing wall seems like the closest scenario, and I think I would expect the gadget to behave like that. Everybody face the wall after cancelling. There is no need in the design to turn, unlike for the ceil-hitting. Let's see if I still think this after sleeping over it.

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« Last Edit: December 18, 2021, 06:07:10 AM by Simon »

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Direction faced by Climbers and Sliders after skill remover
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2021, 07:08:52 PM »
Quote
What does the slider do when another effect suddenly removes the wall?
He becomes a faller. His position remains in line with the wall (ie: the pin does not move horizontally), and he faces towards where it was. This is also what would happen if the Slider reaches the bottom of the wall without encountering a floor (akin to either the climber reaching the top without encountering a ledge he can climb onto; or the climber reaching the top without encountering an overhang; depending on whether you follow the "like for like" or "like for inverse" logic).
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Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Direction faced by Climbers and Sliders after skill remover
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2021, 01:36:36 PM »
I think the reason for the turnaround is the fact that Climbers (and now also Sliders) have their trigger one pixel inside the wall, i.e. at a point where a normal Walker or Faller would already have turned around.

Whilst this makes sense from a physics POV, I'd prefer a more generally intuitive reason to keep the turnaround behaviour.

I'd argue they should face towards the wall in both cases.
...
The deassigner is a deassigner, not a turner. If the wall is still there when they reach the bottom, they'll turn around anyway, and if it's not, then they'll keep going the direction that they were visually facing when the skill was removed.

This feels more intuitive, the more I think about it. I tentatively +1 this and have voted accordingly. Simon's discussion expands upon and pretty much sums up my own thoughts around it as well. Except for these points:

Jumpers assigned to climbing lemmings make them turn and then jump from the wall; this design is unnatural in the first place, why can you even assign jumpers to climbers. That's a grotesque break from the assignment rules.

This, I massively disagree with. Wall-jumping is a common videogame trope nowadays, and a Climber jumping away from a wall seems a perfectly reasonable expectation from both real-world and videogame physics.

Also, my own reason for initially favouring turning away was the real-world scenario of exactly that: jumping away from a wall during climbing usually involves turning around.

However, lemmings entering a skill de-assigner are not actively jumping/moving away from the wall, they are simply having their skill removed, so they should fall (and, probably not turn).

There is no need in the design to turn, unlike for the ceil-hitting

This raises a question: why do lemmings turn upon reaching a ceiling? I assume it's the physics reason (the dot being inside the wall) and pretty much nothing else. The only reason to keep it, then, is maintenance of original physics, which NeoLemmix isn't primarily concerned with.

Probably too late to change that now, but "existing physics" seems to be the only reason to keep the ceiling behaviour, so maybe it's also a good enough to apply it to the "fall after de-assigner" behaviour.

As you can see, I'm very close to the fence on this one. I've leaned to "both face towards" because it's the most intuitive, but "both turn away" would be more physics-consistent.

Maybe, don't cancel the existing skill action. Climbers and Sliders continue until they reach their destination, albeit with the permanence of the skill removed. This seems to make some sense, and would certainly solve the problem of face towards/turn away, but is less satisfying.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2021, 01:49:51 PM by WillLem »

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Direction faced by Climbers and Sliders after skill remover
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2021, 06:20:19 PM »
Quote
This raises a question: why do lemmings turn upon reaching a ceiling? I assume it's the physics reason (the dot being inside the wall) and pretty much nothing else. The only reason to keep it, then, is maintenance of original physics, which NeoLemmix isn't primarily concerned with.

Simon already addressed this:

Quote
Let's go back to the roots: Why is there turning at all in the climb activity? Climbers that hit ceiling turn. Ceil-hitters must turn because the skill's design doesn't work at all otherwise: Non-turning ceil-hitters would re-climb the wall over and over. Thus the turning is already tacked-on. necessarily part of at least one transition.
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Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Direction faced by Climbers and Sliders after skill remover
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2021, 01:17:55 AM »
Quote
This raises a question: why do lemmings turn upon reaching a ceiling?

Simon already addressed this:

Quote
Non-turning ceil-hitters would re-climb the wall over and over

So he did, this makes a lot of sense (I'm not sure how I missed that part of Simon's post ??? but anyways...); in the case of the de-assigner, I suppose the need for this behaviour is removed along with the skill.

Offline namida

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The existing exp build has given plenty of time to play around with the "away from the wall" facing behavior.

In the next exp build, I'll instead implement the "towards the wall" behavior, and see how people feel about that in practice.

Note that this does not mean either behavior is final yet, just that the next exp update will trial a different option.
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