Author Topic: Proxima lays down lemforum maintainership  (Read 308 times)

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Offline Simon

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Proxima lays down lemforum maintainership
« on: December 09, 2022, 03:26:25 AM »
Hi,

Proxima has laid down maintainership of Lix's lemforum level pack.

As long as we don't have a designated maintainer, we'll still work together on the levels, but nobody's word trumps others. I'll glean from the discussions what might be best, and implement that in Lix. Everybody, please speak up if I make odd decisions, and I'll happily do something else in the next version of Lix. Also, if you know lemforum well, you can step up to be maintainer and call the shots!

Lix lemforum is the flagship pack. One possibility is to stabilize lemforum, which means that we'll mostly fix backroutes, but avoid larger level swaps. This is best for speedruns, and it preserves the spirit of the contributions. If Lix gets fancy new features or new levels, we can put those separately from lemforum.

The alternative is to keep cutting weaker levels every now and then, and let lemforum slowly adapt to Lix when Lix gets new features like neutral lix, or new tilesets. This allows us to recommend lemforum to new players as a sample of the state of the art, and still have the vast majority of the content from 2010 to 2012, although not necessarily all of it.

You can mix the two ways to a degree, but they're fundamentally incompatible. I'd like to recommend to new players at least some cross-section of Lix's features and level designers' work. Proxima prefers a stable lemforum that we still recommend to new players as first pack, as we've always envisioned.

It's an amicable parting. I'm sure geoo's and Proxima's handwriting will stay visible on lemforum. Thanks for your contributions! Proxima, you're busy in life, about to get a foot into the door of the software industry. And in Deadly Rooms of Death, you've got a big project on the brink of release. I wish you the best of luck with both projects!

And barge in if we ever screw it up. :lix-grin:

-- Simon

Offline namida

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Re: Proxima lays down lemforum maintainership
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2022, 04:04:38 AM »
Third option: Finalize it in a similar manner to what I do with my level packs. ie: No further backroute fixes either; levels would only be modified if a change to Lix necessitates it (culling a feature, or a physics change; possibly with a special case of "new backroutes arising due to physics changes may be fixed").

Not sure if this is the best fit, but worth considering. New levels could always go into a "lemforum 2" pack.
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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)

Offline mobius

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Re: Proxima lays down lemforum maintainership
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2022, 10:41:05 PM »
Since I'm unfamiliar or at least unsolved a decent portion of the pack, and don't really feel like making huge major changes myself I won't be volunteering myself as maintainer any time soon. But I am here for now and able to help do the things I've been posting about and help others with any little thing that's needed.

Needless to say, I'm in favor of option 2, but as to the further down the road and neutral lixes and such; maybe that's best thought of later when the time comes. A lemforum pack 2 isn't a bad idea but atm I don't think there's near enough content or people interested to do that.

Third option: Finalize it in a similar manner to what I do with my level packs. ie: No further backroute fixes either; levels would only be modified if a change to Lix necessitates it (culling a feature, or a physics change; possibly with a special case of "new backroutes arising due to physics changes may be fixed").

Not sure if this is the best fit, but worth considering. New levels could always go into a "lemforum 2" pack.

can't say I agree with this idea in the slightest. I'm okay with calling a project finished and saying I'm not going to make major changes like replace levels but imo backroutes (particularly the kind that make a level significantly easier or less fun than it's intended to be) should always be able to be fixed, imo.

I've been going through the comments of various people's playthrough of the pack and making notes of anything that seems like it needs attention, although I've mainly only been focusing on my own levels.

-------
Had this thought while watching Raymond play the game;
Why do I want to make changes? I probably said this before but we started this project in 2012ish I believe? when I first joined the forum and was totally new to the custom level scene. Some of the lix levels were the first I ever made and now every time I see someone playing it I'm reminded of some of the decisions I made which are a bit cringe worthy now honestly. Some of these Proxima, geoo and others already fixed in earlier updates and I'm glad for that.
Sure we should preserve a piece of level making history but do we really need to preserve "warts and all" as it were? After all we've been keeping the "outtakes" as well, they weren't deleted, which I would be against. I think the pack is, in fact, finished as it is. But finished doesn't mean adjustments can't be made, to keep improving it gradually over time, just like the game itself does.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2022, 02:27:06 AM by mobius »
everything by me: https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=5982.msg96035#msg96035

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Offline chaos_defrost

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Re: Proxima lays down lemforum maintainership
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2022, 04:10:55 PM »
Every level I wrote for this pack is fine. Backroutes or not.

~c_d (I was I.S.)
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Offline Dullstar

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Re: Proxima lays down lemforum maintainership
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2022, 12:58:34 AM »
I think it is worth considering putting the lemforum pack into effectively a long-term maintenance mode where it might still receive fixes such as for backroutes, but does not receive major overhauls.

New features can present an opportunity for a new pack, and could be a project to encourage newer players to consider submitting levels. This can make new features feel more integrated than just being mostly forgotten for most of the pack except a few levels just randomly have it for some reason and then the pack proceeds to forget they exist again for an entire rank or two. I'm assuming this would be more than just neutral Lix. If I could pick 2 original Lemmings/NeoLemmix features I would like to see come to Lix, it would 1-way-walls and Shimmiers (that said I don't blame you if you think the UI is too cluttered for a new skill, but I think they'd be fun in multiplayer).

Since the lemforum pack is basically THE Lix single-player pack there's not much incentive for designers to create new single player Lix levels because they won't receive attention because they're not a part of the One True Pack and to get in they'd have to displace an existing level (I don't think this is an intentional choice to make it feel that way).

Offline Simon

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Re: Proxima lays down lemforum maintainership
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2022, 01:13:40 PM »
Dullstar, that's an excellent analysis of some deeper problems. Thanks! I agree that it's not a good solution to add 3-5 levels with, e.g., neutrals, and banish other design around neutrals to packs that will rarely see the light of day.

I'd like to clearly separate those concerns from Proxima's reasons to retire from maintenance. Proxima chose to retire because we can't satisfy the following four all at the same time:
  • We allow Lix physics to change and to get occasional features,
  • we recommend a good cross-section of features and designers to new players,
  • that recommendation is lemforum, as we envisioned in 2011,
  • and lemforum stabilizes except for backroute fixes.
It's understandable that Proxima chooses to spend time elsewhere than to commit to calling all shots. Still, together, we're having fun sanding backroutes and going over mobius's replacement ideas.

Now, how to attack the deeper concerns is a separate issue. I'd recommend here to lay low for a while, and let the features and changes tricke in first. I don't want to bloat stable releases with physics features, yeah. Curiously, Icho suggested separately from you the shimmier as the most interesting potential skill.

NL doesn't seem to have the problem at all. I assume that's because the NL introduction pack is smaller. Icho did a great job on that introduction pack and I'll warmly recommend it, yet nonetheless new players get to explore custom packs quickly after it.

-- Simon
« Last Edit: December 13, 2022, 01:31:00 PM by Simon »