Author Topic: geoo visits Simon, February 2023  (Read 7456 times)

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Offline Simon

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geoo visits Simon, February 2023
« on: February 12, 2023, 06:04:06 PM »
Hi,

geoo has visited me for a week.

For this visit, we happened to snatch exactly the weekend with the big publication of the Level Design Contest 27 entries. We had a lot of fun playing the levels together, often getting fresh ideas from each other.

But first: Do you remember how geoo visited me in September 2010, almost 13 years ago, and we took this photo?



Here's the up-to-date recreation:



I'm still the tall guy in the red shirt. geoo has the black shirt.

And it's the very same empty bag of Quavers! The quavers from inside are long gone, but they were curly. Here in Germany, this brand of potato chip isn't sold, so I've kept the empty bag as a souvenir to the old visit, and to the 1992/1993 DOS games Pushover and One Step Beyond.

We cooked meals, worked from home on our day jobs, played levels, raged about time limits, played card games and board games, and theorized improvements for both Lix and NeoLemmix. We'll have a few stories to tell.

Stay tuned for more posts, with more photos!

-- Simon
« Last Edit: February 12, 2023, 06:27:33 PM by Simon »

Offline Armani

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Re: geoo visits Simon, February 2023
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2023, 04:24:32 AM »
It's very nice to see the meeting happens between lemmings forumers IRL :thumbsup:
And I was surprised to know that it's been almost 13 years since you guys first met :lem-shocked:

Quote
We cooked meals, worked from home on our day jobs, played levels, raged about time limits
:crylaugh:

Hope everything went well and you had great time :thumbsup:
My newest Neolemmix level pack : Lemmings Halloween 2023 :D 8-)

About Armani: Armani's Blog
My NL level packs(in chronological order):
  Lemmings Uncharted [Medium~Extreme]
  Xmas Lemmings 2021 [Easy~Very Hard]
  Lemmings Halloween 2023 [Easy-Very Hard]

Offline NieSch

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Re: geoo visits Simon, February 2023
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2023, 07:07:17 PM »
Sounds like you had fun. Tell us more! ;)
My NeoLemmix packs: All You Need Is Lemmings - Long Live Lemmings! - Yippee! More Lemmings
SuperLemmix: Tomb Rodents featuring Lemmina Croft

Offline Simon

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Re: geoo visits Simon, February 2023
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2023, 07:20:52 PM »
Armani and NieSch, thanks! Yes, it was an exciting week.

Today, it's February 14th, and Lemmings 1 is now 0x20 years old. Happy birthday, and a round birthday even! I didn't manage to implement anything in Lix today to celebrate. Instead, here's a fresh picture with many lemmings.



This is my normal private computer area with the big screen, the Kinesis keyboard, and the vertical mouse with its cable in a loop; the loop is partly covered by the teapot. The area is designed for just one person. Still, to solve levels, geoo squeezed into the corner at the right, and put his computer next to my desktop setup.

The teapot holds a mix of peppermint tea and stinging nettle tea. geoo preferred tea without caffeine, and this was a flavorful combination. Each day, we had 2-3 pots of this.

The level on my big screen is an early iterations of Stop Blowing Up. The central stacking/building in Stop Blowing Up is already backroutish. kaywhyn has put giant steel blocks there since.

The level on geoo's screen is Magic of Lemmings. NieSch patched some backroutes after this, but Magic of Lemmings looks practically the same today as it does in the photo.

-- Simon

Offline NieSch

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Re: geoo visits Simon, February 2023
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2023, 07:45:27 PM »
How funny to see those levels in a photo like that. What a nice small but global community we are. :laugh:
My NeoLemmix packs: All You Need Is Lemmings - Long Live Lemmings! - Yippee! More Lemmings
SuperLemmix: Tomb Rodents featuring Lemmina Croft

Offline kaywhyn

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Re: geoo visits Simon, February 2023
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2023, 08:58:11 PM »
Hey, this looks pretty cool and you both seemed to have a great time together. That reminds me, I met up with a couple of LFers IRL on September 2022. I just haven't posted the picture yet due to pure laziness, but this was after getting some clarification from namida about face tracking on the Forums here because one of them was concerned whether the site uses it. I did get permission to post it, though I'm not certain if I should ID the people in the picture when I post it.

And neato, is geoo left-handed? Sweet! :thumbsup:

Thanks for showing off one of my levels! Glad you liked it, though it seems that both you and Icho had the same frustration with the bottom left area. I told him that he made it more complicated than it needs to be :P I'll see what I can do about that in the next update. In the latest version, the timer aims to stop the waiting that both you and Armani used, as well as to fix a backroute that I can't really fix without maybe resorting to pickups which I don't really want to do since I want to keep the X-of-everything from the getgo ;)

Also thank you for the compliment on my R2 with the water uses! :thumbsup:

@Niesch

Your levels are quite popular apparently. A level of yours is also shown in the jumper skill shadow bug report Simon posted :laugh:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPMqwuqZ206rBWJrUC6wkrA - My YouTube channel and you can also find my playlists of Lemmings level packs that I have LPed
kaywhyn's blog: https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=5363.0

Offline Simon

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Re: geoo visits Simon, February 2023
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2023, 11:16:26 PM »
timer aims to stop the waiting

But consider the cost of the time limit.

You punish unwanted elements in an indirect and intractable way. The player will only see at the very end that he's off by n seconds. And then he still doesn't know if he can tweak the attempt to barely fit, or if he's conceptually off. The player will usually muddle with the existing attempt, and that muddling isn't fun.



While geoo was solving Magic of Lemmings, I drew this level sketch to discuss geoo's route, with the miner tunnel and the bomber hole.

Then the bomber hole enticed me to continue drawing. I drew the monster into the sketch to capture the mood.

This is how geoo felt!

Quote
timer
to fix a backroute that I can't really fix without maybe resorting to pickups which I don't really want to do since I want to keep the X-of-everything from the getgo

Consider carefully. Would you like the monster to visit you?

-- Simon

Offline NieSch

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Re: geoo visits Simon, February 2023
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2023, 06:39:47 AM »
That sketch is hilarious! :crylaugh:

I understand your points and feelings. At the same time my starting point was to make a level a bit like "Just a Minute" where the 1 minute time limit is part of the fun/challenge/kind of frustration even that is part of (the magic* of) Lemmings. The warning sign "loss of hair, sleep etc." is on the box for a reason. :P

*The magic bit was also the teleporter.

My NeoLemmix packs: All You Need Is Lemmings - Long Live Lemmings! - Yippee! More Lemmings
SuperLemmix: Tomb Rodents featuring Lemmina Croft

Offline Armani

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Re: geoo visits Simon, February 2023
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2023, 06:57:40 AM »
That sketch is pretty detailed rather than technical, also 3d font for the timer!
I like it. :laugh:
My newest Neolemmix level pack : Lemmings Halloween 2023 :D 8-)

About Armani: Armani's Blog
My NL level packs(in chronological order):
  Lemmings Uncharted [Medium~Extreme]
  Xmas Lemmings 2021 [Easy~Very Hard]
  Lemmings Halloween 2023 [Easy-Very Hard]

Offline kaywhyn

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Re: geoo visits Simon, February 2023
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2023, 10:40:08 AM »
But consider the cost of the time limit.

You punish unwanted elements in an indirect and intractable way. The player will only see at the very end that he's off by n seconds. And then he still doesn't know if he can tweak the attempt to barely fit, or if he's conceptually off. The player will usually muddle with the existing attempt, and that muddling isn't fun.

I took your feedback about the timer into consideration, and after much thought, it'll remain in place for the level. Sorry. I don't put in time limits for the sake of levels having one, but rather pretty much any levels of mine that have one are for backroute prevention. I generally use it only as a last resort, after I have exhausted all other options (steel, OWAs, pickups, etc) if still needed to block backroutes. I explained it for my R1 in the discussion topic, but I can reiterate here too. There's a backroute that would be possible without the time limit, and after some careful scrutiny of the level, not even pickups can fix it. So, IMO the time limit is completely justified here. Not all of us hate time limits as much as you and geoo do. I've always been a numbers person, and as you might had been able to tell in other topics around the Forums, I'm a math person.

However, you both are justified in complaining about the super tight time limit on Niesch's R3 in earlier versions. When I pre-tested that level for him, I too voiced my frustration with having to constantly tweak the blocker/miner placements before it finally worked and could finish on time. I know Armani also complained about the tight time limit on the level. I haven't seen the newest update for it yet, but I did see that there's now half the number of lemmings, so time is no longer as big an issue as it was before.

I still have a handful of levels without time limits, so take a look at those if you're interested ;) All contest levels, though. I have yet to make a single level that isn't one
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPMqwuqZ206rBWJrUC6wkrA - My YouTube channel and you can also find my playlists of Lemmings level packs that I have LPed
kaywhyn's blog: https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=5363.0

Offline Simon

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Re: geoo visits Simon, February 2023
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2023, 07:18:32 PM »
Thanks for all the replies!

after some careful scrutiny of the level, not even pickups can fix it. So, IMO the time limit is completely justified here.

Good then. You've considered all feedback/backroutes and decided on a design.

Next post: Food.

-- Simon
« Last Edit: February 22, 2023, 07:28:02 PM by Simon »

Offline kaywhyn

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Re: geoo visits Simon, February 2023
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2023, 08:42:21 PM »
Good then. You've considered all feedback/backroutes and decided on a design.

I take all feedback into consideration, and I just wanted to make sure that my level's design wasn't taken the wrong way here in regards to the timer :P It's not an arbitrary thing I just slapped on there just for the sake of it, as I already explained. Not at all. There's an absolutely good reason it's needed for that level. Also wanted to make it clear that I in general don't downright hate them ;) There was just something about finishing on the final second or close to it in L1 and ONML (at least on the ones that are time crunchers) that I often did for fun when I was growing up playing them and hence why I consider time limits iconic to the games, on top of my huge love of numbers.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2023, 12:08:53 AM by kaywhyn »
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPMqwuqZ206rBWJrUC6wkrA - My YouTube channel and you can also find my playlists of Lemmings level packs that I have LPed
kaywhyn's blog: https://www.lemmingsforums.net/index.php?topic=5363.0

Offline Simon

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Re: geoo visits Simon, February 2023
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2023, 11:04:52 PM »
I'm away for the weekend to play board games at Tim's (he is unrelated to Lemmings Forums). I've known Tim since 2011: Tim studied mathematics with me, and we both play the board game of Go.

I showed Tim a few Lix levels from Level Design Contest #27.

We came across geoo's Pommes Schranke. When geoo designed Pommes Schranke, geoo had a core level idea in mind (that I won't spoil), and Pommes Schranke is a great minimalistic materialization of that idea. When Tim grasped the idea and the reasons behind all skill placements, he said: "The author has to be a mathematician, too!" Yep, right Tim is, geoo is a formally trained mathematician and computer scientist.

More to come here: The post about food (as promised months ago), and a post about a discussion between me and geoo while we solved Niesch's Tomb of Doom. I won't be able to tell that tale without spoilers, and I'll mark them.

Real-life meetups about single-player Lemmings are wonderful. I encourage all British players to go to the UK meetup 2023. You'll meet many inspiring friends!

-- Simon

Offline NieSch

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Re: geoo visits Simon, February 2023
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2023, 07:48:00 AM »
More to come here: The post about food (as promised months ago), and a post about a discussion between me and geoo while we solved Niesch's Tomb of Doom. I won't be able to tell that tale without spoilers, and I'll mark them.

Oh dear, did that level also cause frustrations? :laugh:

(When I release "The Magic of Lemmings" in a pack I will make the 1 minute solution a golden talisman one and remove the time limit for the normal solution. ;))
My NeoLemmix packs: All You Need Is Lemmings - Long Live Lemmings! - Yippee! More Lemmings
SuperLemmix: Tomb Rodents featuring Lemmina Croft

Offline Simon

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Re: geoo visits Simon, February 2023
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2023, 02:48:02 PM »
Oh dear, did that level also cause frustrations? :laugh:

No worries, Tomb of Doom produced a strong a-ha effect, and we never had execution problems. I can guarantee that it won't be a rant!

-- Simon

Offline Simon

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Re: geoo visits Simon, February 2023
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2023, 07:57:50 PM »


Here is the story about NieSch's Tomb of Doom from Level Design Contest 27.

The image shows the lower half of Tomb of Doom. geoo and I each played on our machines next to each other. We tried for half an hour to find an efficient way across the lower-left pool.



Eventually, geoo said: "I want to use the Highland-10 trick to fling a worker out of the water pool."

L2 always flings lemmings upwards, even if they're below the epicenter of a flinging explosion. This method allows to save 100 % on Highland 10 instead of the intended lose-1. As in the gif, you mortar close to the faller, thus fling the faller to the bottom-right side.

You can even use a variant of the trick where you don't fling a faller, but a drowner, which will fly upwards out of the water and thus survive.

Well, this is all very nice in theory, but Tomb of Doom doesn't give us any mortars. namida never added flinging to NeoLemmix, thus the Highland-10 idea can't lead to anything promising. Right?

Spoiler for Tomb of Doom (click to show/hide)

NieSch, thanks for the most memorable a-ha effect of the contest-solving weekend!

-- Simon
« Last Edit: May 23, 2023, 08:53:10 PM by Simon »

Offline NieSch

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Re: geoo visits Simon, February 2023
« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2023, 08:58:09 PM »
You're welcome. And thank you for these amusing - and well illustrated - anecdotes. :crylaugh: :thumbsup:
My NeoLemmix packs: All You Need Is Lemmings - Long Live Lemmings! - Yippee! More Lemmings
SuperLemmix: Tomb Rodents featuring Lemmina Croft