Author Topic: [DISC] If you could pick only 16 of the existing skills, which would you pick?  (Read 2011 times)

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Offline WillLem

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Question's in the title.

Mine would be:

Movement-based

1 Walkers
2 Jumpers
3 Shimmiers
4 Climbers
5 Swimmers
6 Floaters
7 Gliders
8 Blockers

Constructive

9 Platformers
10 Builders
11 Stackers

Destructive

12 Bombers
13 Laserers
14 Bashers
15 Miners
16 Diggers



To display the above in the panel permanently, allowing levels with all 16 skills to be possible, the panel layout could be:

Button 1: Release rate control, split into two halves of a single button
Buttons 2-17: The 16 skills
Button 18: Pause / Fast-Forward
Button 19: Nuke / Restart
« Last Edit: February 06, 2023, 04:42:08 AM by WillLem »

Offline holidays

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Has there ever been a standardization of the adjectives to skills (destructive, movement based, etc.)? I've seen the skills sorted like this now and again but never got a round to asking if it was something official. I personally believe the best way would be to do it like this:

Movement-based
Walker
Jumper
Shimmer
Blocker
Cloner

Permanent
Slider
Climber
Swimmer
Floater
Glider
Disarmer

Sacrificial
Bomber
Stoner

Constructive
Builder
Platformer
Stacker

Destructive
Laserer
Basher
Fencer
Miner
Digger
« Last Edit: February 06, 2023, 07:13:41 AM by Silken Healer »

Offline holidays

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And, a new point for further discussion:

:lemming: Perhaps cloners and stoners could be removed from SuperLemmix altogether. It may even be worthwhile considering distilling the available skills down to, say, the best 16 and then having them permanently displayed in the skill panel, similar to the way skills appeared on the classic platforms.

Also I'd say we may as well keep the extra 5 skills. Maybe if we're feeling adventurous, we could try to even get a way to squeeze having 21 skills available. The ways I thought we could do that are:

Change some skill panel buttons to have to right click anywhere in the level, then select them through a context menu.
Remove some skill panel buttons to only be hotkeys.
Make the skills half-buttons.
Make the map smaller.
Allow left and right on the skill panel and don't show everything at once.
There seems to be some extra space at the bottom when I play NeoLemmix, but I don't know for sure about this one as it might be dependent on what type of monitor you have.

Offline holidays

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Maybe the user could even customize their own skill bar (how many skills, custom hotkeys as skill panel buttons, whether to scroll, etc.) but don't want to get ahead of myself.

Offline Proxima

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Related topics:
Defining the "classic 10" skills (after the title question had been answered, I asked "if you could only pick 10 skills, which would you pick?")
Reorder skills in skill panel? (contains discussion on whether the bomber is primarily a destructive skill or a sacrificial skill)

So... if I had to pick a list of 16 skills to keep, I would start with my 10: the original 8 skills plus walker and jumper. One consideration is, of course, that they are the original 8 and we still have a vast wealth of content from before the new skills, so removing any one of them makes a lot of levels obsolete and needing to be reworked or discarded. But they are also, as I spelled out in my post in "classic 10", individually versatile and valuable skills and cohere excellently as a group, covering the spectrum of movement, direction of other lemmings, construction and destruction. Walker and jumper are similarly versatile, and being two of the three skills shared with Lix, make it easier to remake Lix content in "SuperLemmix" and vice versa.

11: Shimmier. This has some overlap with the Jumper, but its standout feature is its long range, and interaction with other skills in that they can change whether a path is shimmier-friendly or not. Lots of interesting possibilities for macroscropic puzzles involving many parts of the level coming together.

12: Slider. Yes, it's another movement skill and another way to get down from heights, but it changes the way a lemming paths around the level in a really interesting way, both allowing new possibilities for lemmings to get to places that are hard to reach otherwise, and ones where the slider's movement is a disadvantage to be overcome.

13: Platformer. For all my gripes about NL's platformer not being the Lix version, there are times when the builder is too versatile and you need a horizontal version, as well as new puzzles enabled by having both in tandem (e.g. platformer as a ceiling for builders to hit and turn).

14: Lix's batter. Well, you didn't say I had to pick from skills that exist in NL 8-) and the batter is a unique and really interesting movement skill because of the way it requires one lemming/lix to interact with others, and a whole crowd can be batted if they are tightly packed; it also allows blockers to move without removing terrain.

15: Grenader. Yes, I loved this and I want it back, which shouldn't be too hard since the code already exists. Removing terrain at a distance is a really interesting new idea, and there's lots of puzzle potential in having to spot the correct place to use the grenader, get a lemming there, and get a lemming (or the crowd) to the place affected.

16: Cloner. I didn't want to use this in GemLems as it strays too far from the "classic" feel, but it is a very interesting skill with a ton of potential. A cloner allows any other skill to start from a point that might be difficult to reach by other means, and increases the number of bridges or tunnels you can create, so there is obvious potential for combinatoric puzzles where you have to work out where the cloner is most valuable.

If I absolutely had to choose 16 from NL's 21, replace batter and grenader with.... I guess stacker and laserer? I feel this is scraping the bottom of the barrel, though. With apologies to namida, I just don't find the new NL skills anywhere near as cohesive or interesting or versatile as either the original 8 or the Lix set.

This means the five skills not chosen are fencer, disarmer, stoner, glider and swimmer. (If anyone else replies to this topic: it would be helpful to list your skills not chosen, as 16 from 21 is most of them, so it's a lot easier to read your list of omissions at a glance. WillLem's omissions are fencer, disarmer, stoner, cloner and slider.)

Offline WillLem

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Has there ever been a standardization of the adjectives to skills (destructive, movement based, etc.)? I've seen the skills sorted like this now and again but never got a round to asking if it was something official.

Not really. From what I've seen, very little on the Forums is ever really considered "official", and is more open to interpretation, discussion, and general consensus rather than anything being enforced as the "best" or "official" way to do anything.

Of course, it's always possible to go ahead with what you believe is "best", and see if others agree with you, take on that thinking, etc. I'm sure that's how terms like "backroute" come about: people use them, everyone seems to agree that it's a good way to describe something, and then the term continues to be used.

Your skill groupings certainly add more definition than mine, and people do indeed already use those terms.

Also I'd say we may as well keep the extra 5 skills.

Yeah, in fairness I probably wouldn't want to remove anything really. If anything, I'd want to add Grenaders back in and bring the skills up to an even 22. These could be arranged across 11 buttons as well, meaning that all skills could always be available for every level. This would likely make for some hideously complicated levels, though :crylaugh:

Change some skill panel buttons to have to right click anywhere in the level, then select them through a context menu.

I get the idea, but... wherever possible, a player should only have to do one thing to access a feature. Either use a hotkey, or press a button. Accessing skills via context menu would be a headache for speedrunning or even just normal real-time play, and would also require remembering that they are there. NeoLemmix is already complicated enough, I'd personally prefer to avoid adding more menus.

Remove some skill panel buttons to only be hotkeys.

Yes, this is better. Direction Select and Framestepping are easy wins, since it's much more intuitive to simply use left/right arrows for direction and any hotkey you like for -/+1 frame skip.

The CPM/Load Replay button could also arguably be removed for the same reason, although CPM is a feature which players may not know about and since it's extremely useful, a case could be made for keeping this available in the panel.

Paws, Nuke, Fast-Forward and Restart could be condensed to 2 half-buttons each, or even 4 smaller circular buttons which take up a similar amount of real estate. I'd personally want to keep these ones panel-available though, ideally.

The Release Rate controls could also easily be condensed to a single button space as well.

As a side-note, I'd also like the half-buttons to be able to be visually "pressed", like the skill buttons can be.

Make the skills half-buttons.

Yes, I've thought this myself. It'd be harder to make it clear which is which, and how many of each there are. It could get potentially very messy and is only worth doing if it's decided that all 16/21/22 skills should be made available all the time.

Make the map smaller.

Yeah, this should happen. The minimap doesn't need to take up as much real estate as it does.

Allow left and right on the skill panel and don't show everything at once.

I'd prefer not for this one. This comes back to the "player should only have to do one thing" argument. The beauty of Lemmings has always been that everything you need is available to you immediately, and this should be a standard to aim for.

There seems to be some extra space at the bottom when I play NeoLemmix, but I don't know for sure about this one as it might be dependent on what type of monitor you have.

Yeah, it all depends on how much screen space a player has. Monitors vary more widely than ever in pixel size, so it'd be difficult (but not impossible) to find a standard for this.

Maybe the user could even customize their own skill bar (how many skills, custom hotkeys as skill panel buttons, whether to scroll, etc.) but don't want to get ahead of myself.

Yes, this is a great idea. It's one I've talked about previously, although I can't find the topic where it was mentioned.

If "SuperLemmix" ever becomes a reality, the panel would ideally be completely customisable. I imagine that there would be a certain number of buttons (say, 20, which only increases the current number by 1) and then players could choose which features they want to be panel-accessible, and everything else would be hotkeys. This way, something like CPM could be available by default so that players not used to this feature get to know that it exists, then decide whether they'd prefer it to be a panel button or a hotkey.

Related topics:
Defining the "classic 10" skills (after the title question had been answered, I asked "if you could only pick 10 skills, which would you pick?")
Reorder skills in skill panel? (contains discussion on whether the bomber is primarily a destructive skill or a sacrificial skill)

Great topics, well worth a read if you haven't already :lemcat:

the original 8 skills plus

These would always be available, for sure. It's the reason I chose 16 as a number, so we'd have Classic 8 and Relatively Recent 8.

What's more likely is that all current skills would be kept and the Grenader would also be added, bringing the total to 22. I guess that in this case, a standard number (such as 10, or maybe 12) would have to be decided upon as a maximum possible skills-per-level, as is the current case with NeoLemmix. Having said that, it seems a shame not to introduce the possiblity of having all 22 available if there's a neat, tidy, easy way to implement this without making the skill panel look monstrous or having to menu-dive to access the extra skills. Maybe Lix's panel could form the basis of an idea to get this done.

14: Lix's batter. Well, you didn't say I had to pick from skills that exist in NL 8-) and the batter is a unique and really interesting movement skill because of the way it requires one lemming/lix to interact with others, and a whole crowd can be batted if they are tightly packed; it also allows blockers to move without removing terrain.

Yeah, I love this one as well. New physics, though, and I barely even have the programming experience to put timed bombers back in. Perhaps if someone more experienced than me wanted this and was prepared to do the work putting it together, it wouldn't be out of the question by any means.

15: Grenader. Yes, I loved this and I want it back, which shouldn't be too hard since the code already exists.

Massively agreed. This should have made the NeoLemmix new skills cut, baffled as to why it didn't ???

With apologies to namida, I just don't find the new NL skills anywhere near as cohesive or interesting or versatile as either the original 8 or the Lix set.

In fairness to namida, all of the new skills work great with very few bugs and they're all easy to predict, manage and make great levels with. The Fencer has now been made all but obsolete by the laserer (to the point that I'm seriously considering redesigning & re-releasing all of my Fencer levels to incorporate the Laserer instead), and the Disarmer is really difficult to use creatively without making it a pickup, but other than that I personally think the new skills are more than decent.

The Slider is a bit of a pain with its "sticky" physics, meaning lems turn around from even the smallest drop, but I ended up using this a lot in the Honey-themed levels in Lemminas II, and it work a treat for making the lemminas look and feel like bees!

This means the five skills not chosen are fencer, disarmer, stoner, glider and swimmer.

I'd say Fencer, Disarmer and Stoner would be the easiest to see the back of if any did get culled. In dreamland, we could then have Grenader and Batter and just bring the skills to an even 20!
« Last Edit: February 06, 2023, 04:44:18 PM by WillLem »

Offline WillLem

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For the sake of simplicity, let's keep this topic as a general discussion of the skills (or, mods - by all means consolidate it into one of the existing skills discussion topics, such as this one), and keep any discussion regarding a possible fork of NeoLemmix to this one.

Offline namida

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So, five have to go?

Disarmer goes for sure. Stoner OR Stacker, but not both. Swimmer.

Picking the last two to take out is much trickier. Cloner, I guess, could go. For the last one, possibly Floater - it's very hard to pick one more, but the Glider can likely cover the Floater better than any other remaining case where one skill covers another.
My Lemmings 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)

Offline WillLem

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the Glider can likely cover the Floater better than any other remaining case where one skill covers another.

Can it land on exactly the same pixel? If so, I'd agree.

However, I love the umbrellas too much to see them go. Also, it's not ideal for real-time play if you can't assign the "safe landing" skill plenty of time in advance, if needs be...

Just as a point of interest @namida, which of the 21 skills do you regret putting into NeoLemmix most, in terms of how much time and effort you've had to spend bugfixing/maintaining it vs. its inherent worth as a skill?

Offline namida

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Disarmer, for sure. Swimmer would be second. All others either haven't caused much trouble (Stoner, Stacker) or it's been worth it (Platformer, Glider). Cloner is a close call, but I'd still say it's worth it.
My Lemmings 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)

Offline WillLem

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What if you could only pick 4? :lem-mindblown:

I'd pick Floater/Glider (undecided), Builder, Basher, Digger. From what I've seen during the Builders & Bashers Only challenge, all that's needed other than these 2 skills is a way to get lems down from a height, and a downwards-oriented destructive skill.

Offline namida

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If we were going down to two destructive skills, I'd say Miner and either Fencer or Laserer would be the way to go for maximum versatility.
My Lemmings 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)

Offline Proxima

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Jumpers, bombers, builders and miners would be my pick.

Offline ericderkovits

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Of the current skills the 5 I would probably not keep are the disarmer, swimmer, stacker, stoner, and perhaps the fencer since we now have the laserer.

My favorite skill is still the shimmier since I think it so funny how a lemming can move along a ceiling.

Offline WillLem

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I'd say Miner and either Fencer or Laserer would be the way to go for maximum versatility.

Can you elaborate? I decided against the diagonal skills because {Bashers cancelled with Builders} and {Diggers + Bashers} can potentially accomplish the same thing, whilst also being able to operate horizontally and vertically.

Jumpers, bombers, builders and miners would be my pick.

That's a lot of sacrificial lems! Also, how would you solve a level like Mary Poppins' Land or Going Up...? I'd be interested to see how far each of our respective skillsets would get. An idea for a challenge, maybe? (i.e. pick 4 skills, see how many levels in a pack you can solve with an unlimited amount of just those 4.)

Of the current skills the 5 I would probably not keep are the disarmer, swimmer, stacker, stoner, and perhaps the fencer since we now have the laserer.

Stackers are too useful as a height-gaining skill for me to agree there, and I love the swimmer (maybe we could lose the "splosh" sound every time it enters the water, though?). Agree on the other points, though, especially the Fencer - although I can still think of some situations it could beat the laserer for usability (its less steep tunnel means a lower drop on the other side of a terrain obstacle; less chance of splat falls).

My favorite skill is still the shimmier since I think it so funny how a lemming can move along a ceiling.

Yes, this was super fun to animate, if a little challenging! :lemcat: The key to it ended up being the hand positions, which need to remain stationary at the point of contact with the ceiling.