Author Topic: lemmings format  (Read 9011 times)

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ant6n

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lemmings format
« on: July 05, 2006, 02:36:37 PM »
Hi,

I am interested in making a port of the original Lemmings (and possible Oh No) for a console.
For that I would really be interested in descriptions of the formats of the *.lvl, *.spr, *.pal and *.dat files, because i wanna reuse them (I am not much for graphics, I prefer programming). I found a description for the *.lvl once, but don't remember where. Can anybody tell me what these file formats are, or where I can find them?
I could also do with the source code, but I don't think its much of an option (i.e. its not available).
I do have the animations of the lemmings which come with the windows version of lemmings in 'Noboxlm.bmp'.
I would also be interested in what the rules of the game are - how the engine figures when lemmings have to turn, how far they can fall under which condition and when exactly they stop building stairs, how many lemmings there can be altogether etc.

thanks in advance

Anton

Offline EricLang

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Re: lemmings format
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2006, 03:26:38 PM »
Do you know this one?
http://it.travisbsd.org/lemmings/

Here the lvl description
http://members.shaw.ca/okmot/lemmings_file_format.txt

And do you know the remake Lemmini?
http://lemmini.de/


Offline ccexplore

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Re: lemmings format
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2006, 06:49:48 PM »
Weird how everybody suddenly seems to be interested in making a clone of Lemmings lately.

You said you're aiming to port it to a console; which one?? Lemmings has apparently already been ported to just about every single computer and console on earth:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemmings_(video_game)#Ports

Offline EricLang

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Re: lemmings format
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2006, 07:02:38 PM »
Maybe it is contagious :)

Offline Mr. K

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Re: lemmings format
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2006, 07:52:30 PM »
If you port to anything, choose the DS; that's what I'd really want to see.  Natural system for it.

ant6n

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Re: lemmings format
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2006, 01:20:12 AM »
I was going for the Game Boy Advance.
I played the game boy color version for, like, two minutes and had to pu... stop.
I was thinking that the whole gameplay could be made easier if there is not a 'mouse' controlled across the whole board, but rather a lemming focus, which only jumps from lemming to lemming (i.e. like if you use the arrow keys on the windows desktop, you can select among the icons). And one has to be able to control lemmings while paused.
I actually wanted to do it as an exercise.
I think it could look pretty cool, the original levels could be reused 1:1 - Since the screen is 160 pixels high, and lemmings levels seem to be that high, there even is no up/down scrolling necessary (but it would require tucking the controls into the corner and making them transparent).  GBA is compatible with DS, btw.
I am still not quite decided whether to just rip all the graphics and data off the old game or simply reuse the old files and write converters or something (i.e. whether to preconvert and get bitmaps in gba format or convert in runtime).
It would be great if somebody had ripped all data. *winkwink*
If somebody is interested, I could leave some 'nibbles' for custom tile sets and maps... dunno how to tackle that stuff quite yet. i could for example write something that can read *.lvl files, but store all tilesets in gba friendly format. then lvl files could be added to a rom image and loaded onto cartridge (or emulator)
its an idea for a summer project
thoughts?
greetz
anton
PS it is wierd - i was thinking about lemmings and how cool that game was (while starting programming on GBA), and suddenly a psp port pops up. Although the PSP port looks like its trying to hard...

Offline ccexplore

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Re: lemmings format
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2006, 02:45:51 AM »
I was going for the Game Boy Advance.
I played the game boy color version for, like, two minutes and had to pu... stop.

Heh, yeah, the GBC port is definitely a bit lacking.

Though I believe I already saw a fanmade GBA port out, though it's a work in progress.? Unfortunately I can't find the URL for the moment.

Quote
I was thinking that the whole gameplay could be made easier if there is not a 'mouse' controlled across the whole board, but rather a lemming focus, which only jumps from lemming to lemming (i.e. like if you use the arrow keys on the windows desktop, you can select among the icons).

That's definitely a reasonable approach.? Just make sure the player can still have a method to scroll the screen left and right.

Quote
the original levels could be reused 1:1 - Since the screen is 160 pixels high, and lemmings levels seem to be that high, there even is no up/down scrolling necessary (but it would require tucking the controls into the corner and making them transparent).

Correct, levels in the original game and ports do have a vertical dimension of 160 pixels.

As for status info, you'd want to display (at a minimum) the following:
- time remaining
- currently selected skill
- number of lemmings saved so far
- number of lemming still out in the level

The original game also shows a whole toolbar of the 8 skills, the current release rate, and number of lemmings still out in the level.? On handheld ports, these are handled in a number of ways:

- many keep the skills toolbar, but it doesn't show up on the screen unless you hold down a button, which then brings it up from say the bottom of the screen or something.? Releasing the button and the toolbar goes into hiding again.

- I believe the Atari Lynx port displays the number of lemmings saved so far right at the top of each exit

- you can probably tug the time limit and currently select skill somewhere at the top of the screen.? The very top of the screen tends to be least reached by lemmings.

Quote
I am still not quite decided whether to just rip all the graphics and data off the old game or simply reuse the old files and write converters or something (i.e. whether to preconvert and get bitmaps in gba format or convert in runtime).
It would be great if somebody had ripped all data. *winkwink*

Well it isn't really "ripping" since it's a computer game so the various data are mostly in different files.

But yes, especially for DOS Lemmings (and to a smaller extend WinLemm), we have figured out how to interpret its graphics data.? We (or others) have even written programs that can display individual graphics, where you can screen-capture them.? For things like terrain and object graphics, Nuntar actually already have them collected in sets of BMPs in order to use this in the DOS lemmings clone "Cheapo".

Offline Mindless

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ant6n

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Re: lemmings format
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2006, 10:02:48 PM »
sweet!
Thank you! I assume these all have the right dimensions and offsets of empty pixels (like the spr format seems to have).
I am actually writing a simple library to interface with the gba graphics hardware (its a bit tedious), but once i have that up and running i can start playing with lemmings (woot!). I really like that the lvl format is constant size, it means i can use a big struct for it.
So for the objects, i see there is an entry and exit, some graphics that just sit around, some that kill a lemming and some that let dig/bash in only one direction. I could think of ways to make things work except for the ones that kill - I assume for every object that can kill a lemming there is a defined area where it does kill a lemming, and possibly a certain time for refresh (until the deadly spike can strike again). Is there anything else to keep in mind for obejcts? Are there any more ideas for what objects should be able to do?

For controls i was thinking something along the lines of cursor keys for selecting among lemmings, A for apply skill etc., B + cursor for selection in the toolbar, shoulder right/left for scrolling in level. Start for Pause, Select for menu.
I thought that the entry should be selectable (like a lemming) and the selection should move to the lemming entrying.

I did find the port, its at
http://zapfbandit.com/gba.html
-- and i dont know how he found space to place the toolbar. I guess its possible to squish the graphics a little, but some levels require pixel accuracy and i didnt really think that's an option.
Here is a simple screenshot test i made for myself to check whether the gba screen is actually big enough play lemmings and whether its possible to tuck the controls in the corner.
It just shows one picture :P, but looked quite alright on the game boy SP (besides the ugly fake controls faked in Paint for ... well, fake)
http://www.cs.mcgill.ca/~adubra/lemmingtest.gba (try visual boy advance as emulator)

greetz
Anton

Offline Mindless

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Re: lemmings format
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2006, 01:51:57 AM »
sweet!
Thank you! I assume these all have the right dimensions and offsets of empty pixels (like the spr format seems to have).
The bitmaps have 1px padding on each side, the PNGs have correct transparency and dimensions.