Author Topic: (SUG) Modification to Styles format  (Read 1246 times)

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Offline jkapp76

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(SUG) Modification to Styles format
« on: June 17, 2023, 05:55:52 PM »
You could modify the Styles system to allow custom graphics by changing the name. To change walker.png you can add walker_2.png to the image and the game will always prefer the highest number? (Could also just place a 'mod' folder inside the desired style folder and not rename)

I remember superlemmini talking about making a change like this.

This styles could be tweaked further to only use the additional numbered graphics if indicated by a key-press or addition to the level file. It would allow different-themed lemmings on the screen at the same time too.

Doing this for the styles would let people add their own stuff without overwriting default styles. This would allow updating the styles without over-writing their changed parts too.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2023, 11:42:06 PM by WillLem »
...Jeremy Kapp

Offline WillLem

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Re: (SUG) Modification to Styles format
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2023, 11:57:00 PM »
(Could also just place a 'mod' folder inside the desired style folder and not rename)

This may be a better way to approach this, especially if the engine should always "prefer" one image over another. The engine could check for the "mod" folder first, and use default sprites/images in its absence.

This styles could be tweaked further to only use the additional numbered graphics if indicated by a key-press or addition to the level file.

Are you suggesting that this be done designer-end or user-end? If designer, how would they know that the end-user has the correct mod available? If user, does this mean they would have to mod the level file?

Or, if you're suggesting that the user be able to overwrite the default sprites in a particular style, I'd generally be against this particular idea since it's overwriting designer content.

Could you give a bit more detail as to what you're asking for here, in particular?

It would allow different-themed lemmings on the screen at the same time too.

How so?

If you mean that the walker sprites would look different to, say, the faller sprites, then this could look quite jarring, I'm not sure why anyone would want that.

Or, if you mean that the engine should also add the possibility of multiple lemming types active in a level (e.g. lemmings and lemminas at the same time), then this is already on the wish list: I'd like to be able to have different lem-types, each with their own specific exit. But, the likelihood is that the implementation of a "multi-lem" system would be based on the current system of sprites-per-style (as opposed to mods-per-spriteset), to avoid unnecessary complication.

Doing this for the styles would let people add their own stuff without overwriting default styles. This would allow updating the styles without over-writing their changed parts too.

Yes, I can see the benefit here. If I ever get the styles manager up and running again, it would certainly be beneficial to allow users to customise the default sets without the updater overwriting their customisations.

What I imagine might be best here is allowing the "default" style (with the default lemmings) to contain a "lemming mods" folder which contains folders for "lemmings" and "lemmings-hr". Then, the default set (and only the default set) can be user-customised.

Then, in the event of an update, the default sprites/info can be overwritten whilst preserving the user mod. If the update contains something that the mod doesn't have, rollback to default will occur, alerting the user that they need to manually update their mod.

It's all pie in the sky at the moment, because I don't have a way to host the styles for the online updater, and even if I did I'm not familiar with the behind-the-scenes process. This would take some time to get working again, and may potentially mean web-hosting costs, so it might never happen.

Furthermore, if the aforementioned "multi-lem" capability is implemented, I'd almost certainly want the default sprites to appear as defaults again, to keep things clear and simple. At that point, I'll be reaching out to the community for new sprites/themes to add to the game anyway, so maybe it's best overall to wait until this feature is being added?

Don't take this as a refusal or anything, just a "we need thinking time around this one", and the outcome could go one of several ways.

Let's keep the discussion open and see if anyone adds to it.

Offline jkapp76

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Re: (SUG) Modification to Styles format
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2023, 02:10:08 AM »
(Could also just place a 'mod' folder inside the desired style folder and not rename)

How so?

If you mean that the walker sprites would look different to, say, the faller sprites, then this could look quite jarring, I'm not sure why anyone would want that.


What I had in mind was if the numbering system was preferred for the lemming sprites you could specify 1,2,3 and have three differently themed lemming sprites walking around. I probably prefer the MOD folder also as it wouldn't need additions to the level file, but that seems to limit the mods to one. This was basically my imagination running wild without considering programming.

SuperLemmini does use a mod folder too. I've spent alot of time using that player and only been with neo since about 2021.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2023, 05:11:57 PM by WillLem »
...Jeremy Kapp

Offline WillLem

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Re: (SUG) Modification to Styles format
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2023, 05:41:50 PM »
OK, I'm interpreting the suggestion a bit here, so please do correct me if I'm not quite getting what's desired, but from what's been said, it seems that 2 main features are wanted here:

1) A way for user-customised sprites to not be overwritten in the event of an online update

Yes, this is definitely desirable and will probably happen if I can get the online styles updater working again. In this event, I'll see if there's a way for it to not overwrite anything that the user has customised themselves (unless it's something that's required for the game to work). This may be done via a "mods" folder, similar to Superlemmini's file system, or by checking the timestamps of each individual file. It's something that will definitely be considered if, and only if, the online styles updater makes a comeback (currently likely).

2) A way to enable multiple sprite sets to exist in the same level

For this to be worth the effort, there would need to be a game-wide purpose for it. At some point, I'll be looking at a multi-lem system, similar to L2's "tribes" except that the tribes will be able to exist in the same level, and will have their own specific exit that only they can access. I definitely want to look at making this happen at some point, likely as a pre-cursor to multiplayer mode. So, this will happen, but probably not as an arbitrary user mod.

So, the answer here is let's see if we need it.