Author Topic: [SUG] Invincibility  (Read 1594 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline WillLem

  • Moderator
  • Posts: 3384
  • Unity isn't sameness, it's togetherness
    • View Profile
[SUG] Invincibility
« on: June 24, 2023, 01:42:38 AM »
An invincible lem would, I imagine:

:lemming: Have cyclic-colour-changing hair and tunic (like objects in Clear Physics Mode)
:lemming: Be able to survive any fall, regardless of distance or whether a splat pad is used
:lemming: Be able to swim in water even if not a swimmer
:lemming: Be immune to traps
:lemming: Be immune to zombies
:lemming: Not reduce the skill count when skills are assigned to them (so, effectively, all skills are infinite for invincible lems)
:lemming: Ascend out of the ice cube if assigned a Freezer

And, things I'm less sure about:

:lemming: Should they basically take on all permanent skills, and so climb/slide when they reach a wall as well as being able to swim? Leaning towards "no" if only because the Slider has its odd physics limitations that ought not be a problem for an invincible lem
:lemming: How should the invincibility state be limited? Time would be one way, but perhaps invincible lems can't exit?
:lemming: Should they ignore blockers?
:lemming: If assigned a (time)bomber, should they "explode" (creating a crater), but not actually explode, and instead carry on walking? Or, should they die? Or, should they be non-bomber-assignable?
:lemming: How should the state begin? A collectible item within the level that only affects the lem who collects it? Assignable by the player after the ability to assign invincibility has been obtained somehow? Assigned via an invincibility-assigning object?
:lemming: Should they be able to destroy steel? (leaning very much towards "yes" for this)

And, any other ideas?

Online Proxima

  • Posts: 4569
    • View Profile
Re: [SUG] Invincibility
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2023, 01:54:34 AM »
The idea of "invincible lemmings" as a new type of lemming, comparable to zombies and neutrals, is an intriguing idea, but giving them the ability to perform skills for free completely ruins it. Levels would become free wins except for really specialised levels concentrating entirely on execution difficulty (the invincible lemming is on a tight time limit for getting to some neutrals before they died, for example). I know that SLX leans much more heavily towards the execution side than NL, but giving us an element that could be a really interesting puzzle element and then preventing it being used in puzzles seems rather harsh.

I don't think the state necessarily needs to "begin"; you could just have trapdoors that drop invincible lemmings. Nor does it need to be limited. Keep things as simple as possible so there is only one rule for new players to learn.

Offline WillLem

  • Moderator
  • Posts: 3384
  • Unity isn't sameness, it's togetherness
    • View Profile
Re: [SUG] Invincibility
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2023, 02:17:16 AM »
giving them the ability to perform skills for free completely ruins it

How so?

I'm thinking along the lines of the super star in Mario - the idea is that it makes the lem OP, for a short time. Free skills seems a no-brainer for this sort of state, especially because it temporarily subverts the premise of the game, which I'd absolutely expect from any sort of invincibility-mode in any game.

I don't think the state necessarily needs to "begin"; you could just have trapdoors that drop invincible lemmings. Nor does it need to be limited. Keep things as simple as possible so there is only one rule for new players to learn.

I agree with the point about simplicity, but I think the state should begin more explicitly (again, I'm thinking the Mario super star). Or, better yet, let it be player-assignable, so they can decide when is best to use it - this would make it more "lemmings-y", but would also basically require it to have a time limitation.

Although it might seem like I'm set on the idea, this absolutely isn't the case. It's just sometimes easier to make decisions when the ideas are discussion-tested (for example, the recent 180 turn on "steel is always steel" - big discussion, ended up changing my mind completely and keeping the steel as-is for now).

What do you think about the other "less sure about these" ideas?
« Last Edit: June 24, 2023, 02:24:55 AM by WillLem »

Online Proxima

  • Posts: 4569
    • View Profile
Re: [SUG] Invincibility
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2023, 02:55:07 AM »
How so?

I'm thinking along the lines of the super star in Mario - the idea is that it makes the lem OP, for a short time.

You didn't say anywhere that you thought of this being a limited-time thing, so I answered accordingly.

Even so, for a limited-time invincibility, I don't think it should make skills free. That would be much harder to use in puzzles -- both from the designer's side, since they have to account for every possible way the player could use it, and from the player's side, since they know they will be expected to get the maximum possible use out of it.

And frankly, I don't see the "no-brainer". In both Mario and Sonic, invincibility power-ups make you invincible; they don't give you unlimited jumps or any other abilities.

Offline jkapp76

  • Posts: 378
    • View Profile
Re: [SUG] Invincibility
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2023, 04:16:36 AM »
My quick thoughts before bed...

They should have a timer (number) over their head.
It should be a skill. You assign it to a lemming temporarily. (pick-up also work)
I like the idea of exploding a crator but continuing walking.
I would say NO to destroying steel. (an axe has its limitations)
I like having him not exit, but pass by the exit.
I think the music should play at a faster speed. lol
Possibly falling through the floor drops him from the sky?

Another version of this idea would be to select the invincible lemming and apply unlimited skills to him during his invincible time.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2023, 04:13:04 PM by jkapp76 »
...Jeremy Kapp

Offline kaywhyn

  • Global Moderator
  • Posts: 1852
    • View Profile
Re: [SUG] Invincibility
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2023, 04:58:51 AM »
An invincible lem would, I imagine:

:lemming: Have cyclic-colour-changing hair and tunic (like objects in Clear Physics Mode)
:lemming: Be able to survive any fall, regardless of distance or whether a splat pad is used
:lemming: Be able to swim in water even if not a swimmer
:lemming: Be immune to traps
:lemming: Be immune to zombies
:lemming: Not reduce the skill count when skills are assigned to them (so, effectively, all skills are infinite for invincible lems)
:lemming: Ascend out of the ice cube if assigned a Freezer

And, things I'm less sure about:

:lemming: Should they basically take on all permanent skills, and so climb/slide when they reach a wall as well as being able to swim? Leaning towards "no" if only because the Slider has its odd physics limitations that ought not be a problem for an invincible lem
:lemming: How should the invincibility state be limited? Time would be one way, but perhaps invincible lems can't exit?
:lemming: Should they ignore blockers?
:lemming: If assigned a (time)bomber, should they "explode" (creating a crater), but not actually explode, and instead carry on walking? Or, should they die? Or, should they be non-bomber-assignable?
:lemming: How should the state begin? A collectible item within the level that only affects the lem who collects it? Assignable by the player after the ability to assign invincibility has been obtained somehow? Assigned via an invincibility-assigning object?
:lemming: Should they be able to destroy steel? (leaning very much towards "yes" for this)

And, any other ideas?

There is actually an "invincible" gimmick in very old formats NL which when enabled makes one unable to kill the Lemmings. This means they will survive any drop, traps do not activate and kill them, bombers/stoners don't kill them either, and they don't drown. The only way to get rid of them when this gimmick is on is falling out the level to the bottomless pit. So really, a lot of the ideas you put forth are almost exactly what happens with this gimmick enabled in NL v1.43. The only time I've seen this gimmick is from a couple of levels from Strato's Lemmicks, but they're all in the Bedlam rank. Since they don't drown in water, I assume they will survive continuous fire traps as well. I don't know for certain, as there was no level in Lemmicks that featured them alongside the "invincible" gimmick enabled. It wouldn't surprise me if they didn't kill them, since they are after all invincible.
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 WillLem

  • Moderator
  • Posts: 3384
  • Unity isn't sameness, it's togetherness
    • View Profile
Re: [SUG] Invincibility
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2023, 10:13:03 PM »
You didn't say anywhere that you thought of this being a limited-time thing

I did, but it was perhaps easy to miss:

How should the invincibility state be limited? Time would be one way

Even so, for a limited-time invincibility, I don't think it should make skills free. That would be much harder to use in puzzles

I suppose the puzzle would have to come from something other than a limited skillset, then, in that scenario. I'm more interested in the invincibility state introducing an element of unpredictability and randomness than another way to make difficult puzzles.

With that said, maybe part of the puzzle could be that, say, 1 basher is provided, but 3 bashers are required, and the way to get those bashers is to use invincibility.

With that said, I'm not sure I actually like that particular idea anyway (i.e. that a player must work out which skill needs to be infinite, and where, and when), this does put me off the idea slightly. It's not the way that I imagine an invincibility mode should be used, but I suppose it's inevitable that designers would want to use it that way.

Maybe if I can get that "infinite skills" hotkey sorted, that will suffice and so "free skills" won't need to be part of invincibility mode.

And frankly, I don't see the "no-brainer". In both Mario and Sonic, invincibility power-ups make you invincible; they don't give you unlimited jumps or any other abilities.

Super/Hyper-Sonic gives you extra speed and much larger jumps as well as immunity to all enemies/traps, etc - I suppose that for the actual effect it has on the game, this is more where the inspiration is coming from. But, the time-limitation and "start upon collectible" ideas are Mario-inspired.

They should have a timer (number) over their head.

Good idea, when I first read this I thought "yes, definitely"... but, then I realised - what if they're assigned a Timebomber?

It should be a skill

Agreed, this is a good idea; it fits better into the "Lemmings" way of doing things, perhaps, than an "assigning" collectible or object (one of the reasons, incidentally, that SuperLemmix won't be getting skill removers/assigners).

I would say NO to destroying steel

Why? The lem is invincible, they can break the rules.

Possibly falling through the floor drops him from the sky?

Love this idea, but I've tried making this happen as part of a "wrap" feature and I can't get it to work without effing up the lem indexing and crashing the game.

I think I need to take a closer look at the teleporter/portal code, since this will more than likely give me the answer to make this sort of thing work. It would definitely be a good thing to be able to harness, generally.

Another version of this idea would be to select the invincible lemming and apply unlimited skills to him during his invincible time.

Yes, this has been suggested. It's what Proxima and I are discussing (i.e. the "free skills" idea). Good to know there's support for it, but I'm beginning to see that there are potential problems with it as soon as it gets used as a puzzle element.

For example, it wouldn't even be too hard to design a limited-skillset level and then have a "hidden skillset" within the invincibility mode which is required to complete the level - yuck, this is not what we want invincibility mode to become!

So, there would either need to be a way to prevent this sort of use (e.g. by introducing even more random and unpredictable elements to the mode, such as super-jumps or maybe even the ability to fly the lemming around the level using the mouse) or, we'd need to limit the mode to just "survives falls and ignores traps/zombies", which almost seems not worth it, particularly since this behaviour was once a gimmick that got culled (as mentioned by kaywhyn).

Invincibility mode needs to offer something unprecedented that we haven't seen in a lemmings game before in order to make it worth the work, tbh.

Offline Silken Healer

  • Posts: 190
    • View Profile
Re: [SUG] Invincibility
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2023, 07:58:06 AM »
So essentially, just a temporary triathlete?

I don't think they should have infinite skills. Both the level designer and the player have to count up how many skills each [however long the invincibility lasts for] second section would use, and then figure out where you need to utilize them to finish with enough skills. That just seems like it would get annoying, and it would be much less hassle to have the actual number of skills you had for that section, to see what you need to do. The only case I can think of where infinite skills would be a good idea is "X of everything" levels, where the player likes to solve them with as few skills as possible, but that's very niche.

If it does have infinite skills, maybe it can still only be assigned levels that are actually on the skill panel as part of the level's skillset. This would keep the original integrity of the level's design at least a bit, but again, I still think it's a bad idea to add at all.

Maybe to add a bit of variety, invincible lemmings shouldn't be able to blow up or become stoners. If you think about it, in reality, it wouldn't work unless the lemming actually died. It would add a bit of variety, make the skill less overpowered, and create more puzzle opportunities.

100% no on destroying steel. Steel should be indestructible above all else; that's the whole point of steel.

but, then I realised - what if they're assigned a Timebomber?

I would simply add the number above it. Maybe (and this is in general, not just for the invincible lemming), the invincibility timer could be blinking gold, and the bomber timer could gradually go from yellow to red for aesthetic purposes and to tell which one is which.

I think it should be a lemming type that can be pre-assigned and assigned to a hatch to maintain consistency with the theme of the other lemming types. However, I wouldn't be against it being a skill either.

I don't see any reason why they should walk past the exit.

Offline WillLem

  • Moderator
  • Posts: 3384
  • Unity isn't sameness, it's togetherness
    • View Profile
Re: [SUG] Invincibility
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2023, 02:05:47 PM »
So essentially, just a temporary triathlete?

No, way much more than that. Just a few of the ideas that have been mentioned which would make the state more than "just a temporary triathlete": can destroy steel, can be assigned infinite skills, can bomb without being sacrificed, is immune to traps, can survive any fall, etc.

I don't think they should have infinite skills. Both the level designer and the player have to count up how many skills each [however long the invincibility lasts for] second section would use, and then figure out where you need to utilize them to finish with enough skills. That just seems like it would get annoying

Yes, I've realised that. In the post immediately before yours, I said "it wouldn't even be too hard to design a limited-skillset level and then have a "hidden skillset" within the invincibility mode which is required to complete the level - yuck, this is not what we want invincibility mode to become!"

It's paraphrasing, but I think we both mean the same thing here; I fully agree, granting temporary infinite skills could mean that designers make annoying levels which the player would have little to no chance of figuring out. To mitigate it, the invincibility state would need to be even more unpredictable; one idea would be to allow the invincible lem to be freely moved around the level using the mouse - I believe this could solve the problem to some extent, but is perhaps a bit too drastic a measure.

If it does have infinite skills, maybe it can still only be assigned levels [ed - skills?] that are actually on the skill panel as part of the level's skillset. This would keep the original integrity of the level's design at least a bit

Yes, I should have been clearer about that - if invincibility means infinite skills, this would only be infinity-of-each of the currently available skills in the level. So, if the level only provides Bashers, invincibility would grant infinite Bashers.

invincible lemmings shouldn't be able to blow up or become stoners. If you think about it, in reality, it wouldn't work unless the lemming actually died
...
100% no on destroying steel. Steel should be indestructible above all else; that's the whole point of steel.

The invincibility state doesn't need to care about reality - in fact, the whole point of it, in my opinion, would be that these sorts of rules can and absolutely should be broken, otherwise - what's the point? You'd end up with, as you originally stated, "just a temporary triathlete" that can survive traps/falls. Boring, not worth the effort.

Also, Stoners aren't part of SuperLemmix any more. We now have the Freezer skill instead. See this discussion.

make the skill less overpowered, and create more puzzle opportunities

The whole point of invincibility mode, from my point of view, would be to make the lem overpowered, and to subvert the puzzle element of the game.

Perhaps, then, we don't want this?

the invincibility timer could be blinking gold, and the bomber timer could gradually go from yellow to red for aesthetic purposes and to tell which one is which.

Yes, good idea, I suppose both timers could display at once. Another way to do it would be to flip between the two, which is what happens with the Timebomb timer and the Highlight arrow when using the Highlight Lemming feature.

I don't see any reason why they should walk past the exit.

I can think of three:

1) Perhaps there does need to be some limitation to the invincibility state - if not in terms of ability, then in terms of time and interaction with objects. It makes sense, then, that if it ignores trap triggers, it also ignores the exit trigger. This could also be extended to teleporters, splitters, and even buttons.

2) It makes sense that the player would want to keep the invincible lem active in the level for as long as possible, so it would actually be a good thing that they don't exit.

3) It introduces some puzzle potential which wouldn't be too tricky for a player to figure out - e.g. requiring the lem to Jump/Build/etc from the position of the exit's trigger, requiring the Timebombing invincible lem to walk past the exit in order to detonate at some point after it, etc.

Offline Silken Healer

  • Posts: 190
    • View Profile
Re: [SUG] Invincibility
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2023, 02:19:19 PM »
So essentially, just a temporary triathlete?
No, way much more than that. Just a few of the ideas that have been mentioned which would make the state more than "just a temporary triathlete": can destroy steel, can be assigned infinite skills, can bomb without being sacrificed, is immune to traps, can survive any fall, etc.
Yeah, sorry, I realise now after I said it, it's way more than just a temporary triathlete and that was an unfair oversimplification

invincible lemmings shouldn't be able to blow up or become stoners. If you think about it, in reality, it wouldn't work unless the lemming actually died
...
100% no on destroying steel. Steel should be indestructible above all else; that's the whole point of steel.

The invincibility state doesn't need to care about reality - in fact, the whole point of it, in my opinion, would be that these sorts of rules can and absolutely should be broken, otherwise - what's the point? You'd end up with, as you originally stated, "just a temporary triathlete" that can survive traps/falls. Boring, not worth the effort.

Also, Stoners aren't part of SuperLemmix any more. We now have the Freezer skill instead. See this discussion.

make the skill less overpowered, and create more puzzle opportunities

The whole point of invincibility mode, from my point of view, would be to make the lem overpowered, and to subvert the puzzle element of the game.

Perhaps, then, we don't want this? If people think this is a bad idea, then I'm more than happy to focus my efforts on something else instead.
My intention was to bring some variety to the concept of invincibility. However, I understand now that your motivation for adding it may be more inspired by invincibility in platformer games rather than as a puzzle element. That's a valid perspective, and it is then true that you probably would still want bombers/stoners to work. I still think it might look a little old, as we're used to a lemming dying, but I understand it's still probably what you'd want. I still stand by what I said about steel though.

I don't see any reason why they should walk past the exit.

I can think of three:

1) Perhaps there does need to be some limitation to the invincibility state - if not in terms of ability, then in terms of time and interaction with objects. It makes sense, then, that if it ignores trap triggers, it also ignores the exit trigger. This could also be extended to teleporters, splitters, and even buttons.

2) It makes sense that the player would want to keep the invincible lem active in the level for as long as possible, so it would actually be a good thing that they don't exit.

3) It introduces some puzzle potential which wouldn't be too tricky for a player to figure out - e.g. requiring the lem to Jump/Build/etc from the position of the exit's trigger, requiring the Timebombing invincible lem to walk past the exit in order to detonate at some point after it, etc.
For 1 and 3, didn't you say the point was to make the lemming overpowered and subvert the puzzle element of the game? For 2, true, but it also there's a chance it might just fall down a pit or otherwise not go back into the main route of the level in the way you'd expect.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2023, 02:27:41 PM by Silken Healer »

Offline WillLem

  • Moderator
  • Posts: 3384
  • Unity isn't sameness, it's togetherness
    • View Profile
Re: [SUG] Invincibility
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2023, 05:24:32 PM »
I still stand by what I said about steel though.

Why should steel be one of the limitations?

For 1 and 3, didn't you say the point was to make the lemming overpowered and subvert the puzzle element of the game?

Yes, but I didn't say that there should be no limitations or rules, just that there is no one particular rule that necessarily shouldn't be broken - we get to decide which, based on whatever factors are most important to each of us.

Reason 3 would therefore be a weak reason in my point of view, but may be stronger in the point of view of someone who wants to see the invincibility state have some puzzle potential.

Note also that I conceded that infinite skills becomes problematic when used as a puzzle element - this particular point has changed my mind considerably about infinite skills being a good idea. It's necessary, then, to take the puzzle potential into account and take steps to mitigate its impact wherever it becomes a problem.

Reason 3 also shows that it can be used somewhat unexpectedly, i.e. assigning a skill on the exit's trigger, which is usually impossible. I'd say that this is still a subversion of the game's usual premise, albeit perhaps less so than allowing infinite skills.

Like I said though, it's just something I think might be interesting. If there's substantial enough disagreement, it probably won't happen.

For 2, true, but it also there's a chance it might just fall down a pit or otherwise not go back into the main route of the level in the way you'd expect.

I see what you mean, but ultimately this depends on the design of the level.

Offline WillLem

  • Moderator
  • Posts: 3384
  • Unity isn't sameness, it's togetherness
    • View Profile
Re: [SUG] Invincibility
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2024, 03:42:27 PM »
Collectibles are going to be a thing soon, and the reward for obtaining all available collectibles (at present, blue diamonds) in a level could be some sort of invincibility/super mode - it could either be granted to whichever lem collects the final/dedicated diamond (most likely), become an available assignment which can be given to any lemming, or simply be applied to all active lemmings!

Please note that, at present, these features are still being considered separately, and will not necessarily be linked. It's just one possibility.

At present, given all suggestions/discussion around this so far, an invincible lem would most likely have the following properties:

:lemming: Have a dedicated "super" recolouring with an overlaid stars effect
:lemming: Be able to survive any fall, regardless of distance or whether a splat pad is used
:lemming: Be able to swim in water even if not a swimmer
:lemming: Be immune to traps
:lemming: Be immune to zombies and poison
:lemming: Be no longer neutral if previously neutral
:lemming: Ascend out of the ice cube if assigned a Freezer
:lemming: Leave a crater, but not explode, if assigned a (Time)bomber (they would still be nukeable)

And, things we're less sure about:

:lemming: Should they ignore blockers?
:lemming: Should they be able to destroy steel? Ruled out, because it would involve changes to physics
:lemming: Should they get free skills (so, the skill count isn't reduced when a skill is assigned to them)? - I'd ike to at least try this, with the possibility of revoking it later if it doesn't add significant value for the person playing (i.e. it ideally shouldn't be used to make levels more difficult to solve).

Of the other things previously discussed, current thoughts are that they shouldn't take on all permanent skills, and should exit if they reach an exit. That way, it's up to the player to avoid the exit if they want to keep the invincible lemming active in the level.

All of this is still up for discussion, nothing has been implemented yet.

« Last Edit: March 21, 2024, 01:53:29 PM by WillLem »

Offline WillLem

  • Moderator
  • Posts: 3384
  • Unity isn't sameness, it's togetherness
    • View Profile
Re: [SUG] Invincibility
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2024, 12:25:51 AM »
« Last Edit: March 21, 2024, 12:42:28 AM by WillLem »

Offline WillLem

  • Moderator
  • Posts: 3384
  • Unity isn't sameness, it's togetherness
    • View Profile
Re: [SUG] Invincibility
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2024, 02:49:50 AM »
What should happen when an invincible lem comes into contact with Blasticine and Vinewater?

For Blasticine, my instinct is swim. For Vinewater, carry on falling/walking/whatever.

We'll also need to make "Lava" an actual object type, rather than just giving water objects that look like lava a "Fire" effect, in order that invincible lems will be able to swim in Lava. Note: if this change is made, only invincible lems will be able to swim in Lava!

Should invincible lems ignore Blockers? Instinct is no.

Should invincible lems get free skills? Instinct is yes - this state should be as OP as possible; free skills will introduce a game element which grants the player full creativity over the level's solution.

At the moment, a single invincible lem is (optionally editor-side) made available when all diamonds are collected. Another way we could introduce them into gameplay is via pre-placed lems/hatches. Do we want this? Can anyone think of other ways invincible lems could be introduced/activated?

Offline WillLem

  • Moderator
  • Posts: 3384
  • Unity isn't sameness, it's togetherness
    • View Profile
Re: [SUG] Invincibility
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2024, 02:13:25 PM »
After sleeping on the above, and with the lack of replies, I'll go with my instincts on all except Vinewater: it seems to make sense to keep all "unswimmable-water-type" objects swimmable when a lem is invincible - good for consistency. If we leave out Vinewater it could be a source of unnecessary confusion.

Meanwhile, Lava will need to become its own "unswimmable-water-type" object; I'll get on this later today.

So, we have a way for lems to traverse these objects - they must be invincible!

Meanwhile, I don't have any strong feelings either way about making pre-placed lems/hatches invincible. It shouldn't be too difficult to implement because it's a state rather than a skill (pre-assigning skills is trickier - I ran into problems when trying to make hatches Ballooner-assignable), so it's maybe something to go ahead and do anyway, see if we like it. One thing to make sure of is that it shouldn't be possible to assign both "neutral/zombie" and "invincibile" to the same pre-placed lem/hatch, as the states are mutually exclusive code-side (invincibility deneutralizes neutrals and ignores zombies).