Author Topic: Coarse-grained Spawn Interval  (Read 3781 times)

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Offline namida

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Coarse-grained Spawn Interval
« on: February 14, 2022, 08:14:38 AM »
Edit Simon: Split from Simon blogs, committees and spawn intervals

VSI had nonzero benefit and still sparks debate.

As you'll recall, I gave thought to this for NeoLemmix at one point. I wasn't very keen on an outright cull; I was a lot more keen on the idea of making it much less fine-grained; having a smaller number of possible values (with a larger difference in spawn interval between them).

With Loap, I have gone for such an approach right from the start. Instead of 1 to 99, Loap's spawn rate (I'm using this term internally, though I suspect people will likely continue using "release rate" in most discussions, to differentiate it) ranges from 0 to 9. A Loap SR n is equivalent to an L3D release rate of n9 (eg. 9 is equivalent to 99, 8 to 89, etc). It's now confirmed that all official levels are solvable (including Winterland); some custom levels have issues, one of which is due to this (not due to the coarseness, but rather due to that Loap's minimum is equivalent to L3D's 9, while in L3D the level in question has an L3D RR of 1, and the difference is solution-breaking).
« Last Edit: June 24, 2022, 11:24:19 PM by namida »
My projects
2D Lemmings: NeoLemmix (engine) | Lemmings Plus Series (level packs) | Doomsday Lemmings (level pack)
3D Lemmings: Loap (engine) | L3DEdit (level / graphics editor) | L3DUtils (replay / etc utility) | Lemmings Plus 3D (level pack)
Non-Lemmings: Commander Keen: Galaxy Reimagined (a Commander Keen fangame)

Offline Simon

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Re: Coarse-grained Spawn Interval
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2022, 11:10:39 PM »
The coarse steps are interesting when the frames are so short as in L3D or Lemmings Revolution. A Lemmings variant can, in principle, have many ways for the player to vary the spawn interval:
  • Allow fine-tuning each hatch by itself, like in Lemmings Revolution. But I don't know if LR really supports to fine-tune the interval down to single frames because LR has very short frames. That would be insanely fine granularity.
  • Allow fine-tuning the global spawn interval to arbitrary frames, like in L1.
  • Allow several coarse steps, like Loap.
  • Allow only to toggle between fastest possible and the initial per-level spawn interval. As if NL only allowed right-clicking the +/− signs.
  • Or forbid it entirely.
Have you weighed the coarse steps of Loap against the toggling between only fastest and slowest? The toggling needs simpler UI than the coarse steps.

I can imagine that toggling leads to nasty surprises; it looks like you can't shoehorn fiddly solutions with it, but every once in a while you can.

Ste Woz Ere wrote about the L2 Jumper: "always handy as a generic skill for speeding", and I'm starting to believe that even in Lix, the jumper feels nicer for spacing than the runner. The runner needs long-term planning for his assignment, the jumper is ad-hoc. Since the focus with both is on accomplishing a more interesting task about the terrain, it's okay to keep the planning to that more interesting task, and happily accept the less fiddly planning that the jumper offers.

And L3D/Loap can't easily offer a jumper.

-- Simon
« Last Edit: March 07, 2022, 11:20:38 PM by Simon »