Author Topic: [SUG] Radiation & Slowfreeze Objects  (Read 3063 times)

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Offline WillLem

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[SUG] Radiation & Slowfreeze Objects
« on: July 04, 2023, 10:40:13 AM »
From various sources:

consider bringing back slowfreeze, which is essentially assigning a stoner countdown to lemmings but in the form of an object, as well as radiation (same as slowfreeze except the lemming turns into a bomber instead).
I saw and have played plenty of excellent puzzles featuring them from both Strato and Gigalems' packs. Not to mention that it would also be possible to clone timed bombers from radiation in addition to those assigned the timed bomber skill ;)

Quote from: jkapp76
I'd like to see ... slowfreeze and radiation back. It would be great to play those old packs with those skills in high-res and the newer bells and whistles. I've recently played some Strato packs with slowfreeze and he's really good at making fun levels with it ... (there's) one level where you assign a cloner in the center of a beam, then both lemmings fall off the edges and the radiation has them blow two exits. It's impressive.
we already have all the slowfreeze and radiation traps designed for most of the styles.
I think the disarmer has much more potential with radiation/slowfreeze traps too. You can let one lemming fall and freeze to save others from splatting, then disarm the trap so the rest don't also freeze.

Offline WillLem

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Re: [SUG] Radiation & Slowfreeze Objects
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2023, 10:51:28 AM »
Yes, I like this idea. It shouldn't be too difficult to implement either, I imagine that entering the trigger area will simply auto-transition the lem to the relevant skill and set the countdown. In practice, it might be a bit more complex than that, but probably at least manageable.

I like that it will give the Disarmer a bit more to do as well, good shout :thumbsup:

Some things to note/points of discussion:

Please note that this suggestion has been accepted on the basis that it will provide an interesting gameplay feature for SuperLemmix, not necessarily so that it can facilitate ports of old NeoLemmix levels. In any event that such levels can be ported, then great - this is a bonus! :) With that in mind, let's please aim to steer any discussion away from "it needs to be the Stoner skill because otherwise (level X) won't work." In the event that the Stoner skill ever makes a return (currently unlikely), we can look at adding a separate, similar object at that point. So, please keep any Stoner-related discussion to this topic.

So - if implemented, Radiation will lead to lems becoming Bombers, Slowfreeze will lead to lems becoming Freezers.

What do people think of the idea of the countdown being variable (set in the Editor)?

Design-wise, how should these objects appear? How do we differentiate them from Exits/Teleporters? We may wish to update the existing designs - does anyone have screenshots of these?
« Last Edit: July 04, 2023, 11:09:21 AM by WillLem »

Offline ericderkovits

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Re: [SUG] Radiation & Slowfreeze Objects
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2023, 02:14:17 PM »
here are .pngs of radiation and slowfreeze

3 radiation ones from the lab, psychodelic, and purple tile sets of old formats
and the png for slowfreeze from old formats

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [SUG] Radiation & Slowfreeze Objects
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2023, 04:02:38 PM »
Oh boy... again, this seems like another thing I should be celebrating - in theory. :evil: Especially if it's my packs (alongside GigaLem's) that made jkapp and kaywhyn propose this. :thumbsup:

In practice, since the only way to convert to SuperLemmix is to go via New Formats first, any radiation or slowfreeze level from Old Formats would require its radiation and slowfreeze objects to be placed again manually. Unless WillLem wants to implement a conversion tool straight from Old Formats to the SuperLemmix fork of New Formats, but that looks like a whole different level of effort to me.

The anti-splat pads, in contrast, which were originally culled by Nepster, were re-added to New Formats by namida quickly enough for newer versions of New Formats to still consider them during conversion - I think? ???
jkapp and I recently tried to convert some levels from Lemmicks to New Formats, and one of those that failed was a level that featured an anti-splat pad.
The latest version of New Formats I have that can still read Old-Formats level files is 12.10. And 12.10 already includes anti-splat pads in some tilesets. I just don't know if they also recognise them in Old-Formats levels when opening them with version 12.10.



Of course, independently from salvaging Old-Formats levels with these objects, reintroducing them would create the option of new levels with radiation and slowfreeze.

The use of this can be assessed separately, even in case it should not be possible to convert Old-Formats levels to SuperLemmix while storing the location of these objects within the level.

My primary argument in favour of radiation and slowfreeze has always been that they can be used to limit the area / range in which Bombers / Stoners (now Freezers) can be assigned.
Whereas pickup skills, once collected, can be used anywhere in the level.

Radiation and slowfreeze are therefore slightly less limited than the "instant pickup skills" gimmick in NeoLemmix 1.43.
(An instant pickup skill Bomber or Stoner would always trigger in the exact position it was placed, unless you collected them in some way that would prevent them from triggering instantly - in which case they were added to your skill panel as normal. But with Bombers and Stoners, specifically, this was pretty much impossible, since they can always be activated - in contrast to non-lethal creative or destructive skills.)

The added execution difficulty, at least from a puzzle perspective, was an unwanted byproduct of radiation and slowfreeze.
Which is why I often ended up providing Blockers on levels with radiation and/or slowfreeze. That way, I could limit the area / range of possible skill assignment, but still allow for exact positioning of the skill within that range, by simply allowing the lemming to be turned into a Blocker at the required position.



Perhaps one way to reduce execution difficulty when re-introducing radiation and slowfreeze now would be to add a skill shadow that would show how far lemming can still move in the current direction before bombing / freezing as a result of radiation / slowfreeze. Perhaps this skill shadow could be displayed when hovering the cursor over a lemming with a countdown over his head.

Then again, reducing execution difficulty does not seem to be the primary goal of SuperLemmix :P .
But what does seem to be the general mindset is options for players who want them.


Anyone who prefers the "old way" of tinkering with radiation and slowfreeze until they get the placing right - much like with timed Bombers - could simply disable this skill shadow.
Perhaps it would be disabled automatically when the other skill shadows are disabled, too.


The Disarmer being able to turn off radiation and slowfreeze would indeed be a novelty. :lem-mindblown:
I don't recall off the top of my head if I made any levels in Old Formats that featured both, in which backroutes might be created as a result.


But before we get to any of that, the crucial question is whether it would become possible to convert Old-Formats levels featuring these objects to SuperLemmix, without too much of a hassle.
Especially if the main motivation for wanting radiation and slowfreeze back in the first place is this one:

Quote from: jkapp76
I'd like to see ... slowfreeze and radiation back. It would be great to play those old packs with those skills in high-res and the newer bells and whistles.
My packs so far:
Lemmings World Tour (New & Old Formats), my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
Lemmings Open Air, my newest release and follow-up to World Tour, 120 levels
Paralems (Old Formats), a more flavour-driven one, 150 levels
Pit Lems (Old Formats), a more puzzly one, 100 levels - Let's Played by nin10doadict
Lemmicks, a pack for (very old) NeoLemmix 1.43 full of gimmicks, 170 levels

Offline Floyd Brannon

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Re: [SUG] Radiation & Slowfreeze Objects
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2023, 05:08:23 PM »
I want to make sure I say this right. I feel like I was the first person to start playing the Strato packs and got people talking about this and others converting the packs and such.

I think all of this talk about converting the old packs to play on new players stems from our desire to play levels with these features. When we talk about slowfreeze and radiation it takes us straight to these packs and we say we'd like it to work on Super Lemmix. It all seems like positive support for the features to me. I like the idea of slowfreeze making a freezer instead of a stoner BTW.8-)

I know Willlem doesn't seem interested in bringing older packs into this player so much, even saying he considered bringing the stoner back to make older levels playable as an argument against bringing that feature back. But I feel this is quite different. With the stoner we already had that in Neolemmix. Radiation and slowfreeze will be exclusively current only in super lemmix. And I think it would be great for people to put their slowfreeze levels together into newer packs for us to enjoy. Therefore, I would at least say that any small effort to help get these levels updated to this new standard is worth doing. People use their older levels in new packs sometimes.

Offline jkapp76

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Re: [SUG] Radiation & Slowfreeze Objects
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2023, 07:30:32 PM »
There's alot about these features that I like.
I like how this adds mechanics to the game without adding more skills to click. I like how it makes more
use of both the freezer block and the disarmer.

I definitely agree, slowfreeze should result in a freezer. Even if the stoner makes a comeback someday.
The fact you can rescue a freezer definitely adds to all this too. I can imagine many slowfreezers all piling
up after a trap and getting saved by a thrown grenade.

Maybe we could tweak the radiation/slowfreeze trap colors to make them available for more styles by
color-matching them to other terrain or objects?

A variable countdown for them is interesting. It might be nice to put the countdown number right on the trap?
Or only above their heads? You could go all out and give the radiation lemming radioactive white skin and the
slowfreezer a slightly bluish skin.

Strato's skill shadow idea is interesting too. I like it.

Without getting into conversions too much, would it be possible to update just the editor to open lvl files and save
as nxlv? It does look like some level-makers want to bring their slowfreeze/radiation levels into SLX... which would
be brand new to alot of us.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2023, 07:41:14 PM by jkapp76 »
...Jeremy Kapp

Offline GigaLem

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Re: [SUG] Radiation & Slowfreeze Objects
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2023, 12:32:55 AM »
Radiation is something I'd use if it were easier to use, I've suggested before having a number for the amount of time it'd take for it work and on top of that I've wanted it to have have a skill shadow on where the lemming will blow up or solidify but a ruler (for the editor) on long timed bombers take to go down a number (this means one would apply to the various means of movement)

Offline WillLem

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Re: [SUG] Radiation & Slowfreeze Objects
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2023, 06:40:59 PM »
In practice, since the only way to convert to SuperLemmix is to go via New Formats first, any radiation or slowfreeze level from Old Formats would require its radiation and slowfreeze objects to be placed again manually. Unless WillLem wants to implement a conversion tool straight from Old Formats to the SuperLemmix fork of New Formats

It's likely I'll study the previous code to see how it all worked anyway, so for the most part the base implementation should be very similar. Since the name of the previous object types was "Radiation" and "Slowfreeze" (and there's no reason to change that), in theory, the level files should retain at least how many there are and their placement in the level relative to everything else. The graphics themselves might need to be re-linked, though (i.e. by placing them back into the relevant style).

But, to echo what Floyd said, even if they can't be restored via a straight-up conversion, it's minimal effort to just add the objects back in afterwards. And, I'm sure there are people here who wouldn't mind helping with this.

Of course, independently from salvaging Old-Formats levels with these objects, reintroducing them would create the option of new levels with radiation and slowfreeze.

Yes, exactly. This is the main reason I want to look at restoring these objects :thumbsup: - if it happens to make old levels playable again, then this is of course a welcome bonus!

The added execution difficulty, at least from a puzzle perspective, was an unwanted byproduct of radiation and slowfreeze.[/b] ...
Perhaps one way to reduce execution difficulty when re-introducing radiation and slowfreeze now would be to add a skill shadow that would show how far lemming can still move in the current direction before bombing / freezing as a result of radiation / slowfreeze

Not outright saying "no" here, but I'm generally against this idea. SLX intentionally no longer provides "projection" shadows (the more advanced version of skill shadows which show a lemming's movement for a set duration) because they further reduce the game to a "picture puzzle", and SLX is aiming to move away from that.

Also, similar to the reason that Timebombers don't have a skill shadow, one of the main features of the object is that it adds an element of unpredictability which would be completely negated by adding skill shadow functionality.

I can see that there is support for the idea of a shadow; would people still want to use the object if it didn't have one?

I know Willlem doesn't seem interested in bringing older packs into this player so much, even saying he considered bringing the stoner back to make older levels playable as an argument against bringing that feature back

I think I need to make my position here a bit more clear as I've perhaps been a bit harsh about this so far: I'm not against old levels being played in SLX, I just won't be making any special effort to make previous content playable (including my own!). And, this isn't to be dismissive about old content either, it's so that we can make innovations without having to worry about whether previous content will be affected.

If any of SLX's features happen to make old levels playable, then great! But, it can't be the only reason for bringing an old feature back, or even implementing a new one - there needs to be more to support the idea conceptually.

And, regarding the Stoner, that's something of a misquote. What I actually said is that the previously-used Stoner skill interactions are mostly quite fiddly, and this would count as a reason against bringing it back.

But yes, please don't misunderstand me here. I'm happy if SuperLemmix supports older content, but it's certainly not my primary goal and - to my mind -  it's not a strong enough reason to make decisions about anything one way or the other. However, I can see that it's important to others, so from here on out I will at least take it into account.

Radiation and slowfreeze will be exclusively current only in super lemmix. And I think it would be great for people to put their slowfreeze levels together into newer packs for us to enjoy. Therefore, I would at least say that any small effort to help get these levels updated to this new standard is worth doing.

:thumbsup:

Maybe we could tweak the radiation/slowfreeze trap colors to make them available for more styles by color-matching them to other terrain or objects?

Yes, good idea. I like the general aesthetic of the originals, but they should be made to fit the style, like the locked exits and the orig_marble teleporter.

A variable countdown for them is interesting. It might be nice to put the countdown number right on the trap?

Agreed, it probably should be visually represented. To stay consistent with the current helper graphics, we can display this number on level start and in CPM. During normal gameplay, though, let's reduce clutter and not display this continuously.

You could go all out and give the radiation lemming radioactive white skin and the slowfreezer a slightly bluish skin.

Great idea :thumbsup:

Without getting into conversions too much, would it be possible to update just the editor to open lvl files and save as nxlv?

I've made a topic about this.

Radiation is something I'd use if it were easier to use, I've suggested before having a number for the amount of time it'd take for it work

Does the countdown not provide this? Or, do you mean something else?

a ruler (for the editor) on long timed bombers take to go down a number (this means one would apply to the various means of movement)

This is a good idea, worth its own topic so that it covers Timebombers as well. I've posted one for it here.

Offline WillLem

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Re: [SUG] Radiation & Slowfreeze Objects
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2023, 09:04:24 PM »
OK, I've got these objects working again using almost the same method as previously (only the checks are different, e.g. we prefer lems to exit this time).

Same deal as before for now, i.e. the countdown starts at 9. Currently, there isn't a way to display anything higher than this (the countdown itself can be as long as we want, but the timer won't start until it gets to 9). If we can get lems to "glow" or otherwise recolour whilst in Radiating/Slowfreezing state then perhaps the timer doesn't need to start until 9? Either way, it's probably a good idea for me to figure out how to display higher than 9 if the future of this object involves variable countdown.

Other than that, it's working a treat and we now have these objects reinstated! They probably won't be included in 2.4 due to being somewhat under-developed at this stage (no default graphics or sounds, etc), but we can look at getting them into 2.5.

Thoughts?
« Last Edit: July 05, 2023, 09:40:31 PM by WillLem »

Offline WillLem

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Re: [SUG] Radiation & Slowfreeze Objects
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2023, 03:55:54 PM »
Figured out how to draw double-digits, and it's working nicely for both left and right-facing lems.

I think it's better to give these objects a 10 second countdown by default. In 2.4, this will be fixed to 10 seconds, but I'm hoping to make it variable in a future update; I just need to get to grips with the object>level>engine data stream, which unfortunately isn't as straightforward as I'd hoped.

At least we'll have the objects to play around with in the meantime!

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [SUG] Radiation & Slowfreeze Objects
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2023, 06:03:26 PM »
The 10-seconds-countdown just gave me quite some trouble when trying to reintroduce these objects into Lemmings World Tour in SuperLemmix. :evil:
At least on those levels where the timing is actually important.

But anyways, thanks for reintroducing these objects at last - and, once again, so quickly! :thumbsup:


Still, I can see how 10 seconds are a nicer number than 9.
If this does become variable in the future, I don't think I will go back and change it to 9 again.
Unless I decide to always keep the countdown at 9, at least for the entire pack (which, to be fair, is the case in Old-Formats Lemmings World Tour, so that's a good argument for keeping it consistent - even if the new SuperLemmix default in other packs should become 10, indeed).

Variable countdowns make the object harder to predict, and are therefore something at least the NeoLemmix players would probably consider "unfair".
Perhaps there is a way to display the countdown above the radiation or slowfreeze object in the level? Like the number above a limited-number hatch or exit?

My second question would be when you're planning to introduce this variable countdown, if at all? ;)

Should I still wait with my SLX adaptations of Lemmings World Tour? It wouldn't be fun to adapt every level with radiation and/or slowfreeze to a countdown of 10 now, only to have to go back later and change it all back to 9 again. :scared:
My packs so far:
Lemmings World Tour (New & Old Formats), my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
Lemmings Open Air, my newest release and follow-up to World Tour, 120 levels
Paralems (Old Formats), a more flavour-driven one, 150 levels
Pit Lems (Old Formats), a more puzzly one, 100 levels - Let's Played by nin10doadict
Lemmicks, a pack for (very old) NeoLemmix 1.43 full of gimmicks, 170 levels

Offline WillLem

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Re: [SUG] Radiation & Slowfreeze Objects
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2023, 11:51:28 PM »
Perhaps there is a way to display the countdown above the radiation or slowfreeze object in the level? Like the number above a limited-number hatch or exit?

As and when variable countdown is introduced, the countdown value will either be always displayed above the Radiation/Slowfreeze object, or - at the very least - for a few seconds at the start of the level, and always in CPM.

My second question would be when you're planning to introduce this variable countdown, if at all? ;)[/b]

It would already be in SLX if I could figure out how to parse data from the object info!

I can sort of follow the trail from editor to level.nxlv to engine, e.g. for limited-number hatches or variable-sized water, but only up to a point. Things start to diverge pretty quickly within the code, unlike with skills and trigger areas which are all very comprehesively and neatly dealt with.

I'll have another look at it in the next few days, hopefully it can be part of 2.5's feature set.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [SUG] Radiation & Slowfreeze Objects
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2023, 05:51:21 AM »
Thanks a lot, WillLem! :D

Looks like I have to check my SLX player settings again. :forehead: Just because a bunch of features no longer appear on the skill panel, and the shortcuts for them have changed, I thought things like clear-physics mode had been removed entirely, due to SLX's different philosophy when compared to NeoLemmix. I'm glad that doesn't seem to be the case, after all! :crylaugh:

Of course, I enjoy the larger skill panel of up to 14 skills; it just means that some things are only accessible by shortcut now. So I either have to memorise a bunch of new ones, or reassign them to the keyboard layout that I am used to from NeoLemmix. Hopefully, that won't interfere with any of the novel features - those that only exist in SuperLemmix - some of which might require keyboard shortcuts of their own, too.
My packs so far:
Lemmings World Tour (New & Old Formats), my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
Lemmings Open Air, my newest release and follow-up to World Tour, 120 levels
Paralems (Old Formats), a more flavour-driven one, 150 levels
Pit Lems (Old Formats), a more puzzly one, 100 levels - Let's Played by nin10doadict
Lemmicks, a pack for (very old) NeoLemmix 1.43 full of gimmicks, 170 levels

Offline WillLem

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Re: [SUG] Radiation & Slowfreeze Objects
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2023, 01:09:28 PM »
Just because a bunch of features no longer appear on the skill panel, and the shortcuts for them have changed, I thought things like clear-physics mode had been removed entirely

From what was available on the panel, CPM, Framestepping, Direction Select and Replay features have only been relegated to hotkey* - so, they are still available. Classic Mode toggles them all off simultaneously, essentially making them unavailable via their hotkey commands.

The only such feature that's been removed is Projection Shadows (i.e. not to be confused with Skill Shadows), since I feel it's taking the concept of Skill Shadows to a game-breaking extreme.

some things are only accessible by shortcut now. So I either have to memorise a bunch of new ones, or reassign them to the keyboard layout that I am used to from NeoLemmix

You can copy over your hotkeys.ini file from NeoLemmix\Settings and this will map all available features to your existing NL hotkeys.

Even then, though, I would still recommend taking a look at the new hotkey mapping dialog.



*Having said this, try clicking the "Squiggle" between the panel and the minimap and see what happens ;P

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [SUG] Radiation & Slowfreeze Objects
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2023, 09:38:33 AM »
Thanks a lot, I'll have a look at all of these points! :D
My packs so far:
Lemmings World Tour (New & Old Formats), my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
Lemmings Open Air, my newest release and follow-up to World Tour, 120 levels
Paralems (Old Formats), a more flavour-driven one, 150 levels
Pit Lems (Old Formats), a more puzzly one, 100 levels - Let's Played by nin10doadict
Lemmicks, a pack for (very old) NeoLemmix 1.43 full of gimmicks, 170 levels

Offline WillLem

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Re: [SUG] Radiation & Slowfreeze Objects
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2023, 05:22:38 AM »
Variable countdown timers for Radiation and Slowfreeze have now been added!

The value is set in the Editor, in the Pieces tab, when clicking on one of the objects. There is a maximum value of 99 seconds and a minimum value of 1 second, with the default value set to 10 seconds.

If for some reason a level contains one of these objects and a countdown timer has not been set, or has a 0 value, the player will default the countdown to 10 seconds.

This will feature in SLX 2.5, along with (hopefully) an improved animation for each...

Player support in Commit 34d43cda1.
Editor support in Commit 5a0e4ee.

Offline WillLem

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Re: [SUG] Radiation & Slowfreeze Objects
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2023, 10:32:04 PM »
One thing I noticed when playtesting the Slowfreeze & Radiation level in the Welcome pack is that it can become somewhat confusing quite quickly when you have both objects in the level at the same time, and lemmings crossing each others' path with countdowns above their heads.

I intend to address this in the very next hotfix update - Radiation lems will have a red countdown, Slowfreeze lems will have a blue countdown. In the meantime, I can assure you that the level featuring these is absolutely playable with the regular white countdown, it's just necessary to watch what's going on a bit more carefully.

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [SUG] Radiation & Slowfreeze Objects
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2023, 06:16:44 PM »
Quote
Radiation lems will have a red countdown, Slowfreeze lems will have a blue countdown.

Nice, simple, and straightforward idea! :thumbsup: Had never thought of that before.

Now I have to edit my World-Tour levels back to the 9-seconds countdown, after already having adapted two to the 10-seconds countdown. :evil: But it will be worth it in the end, because they will finally be consistent with the Old-Formats version again.
My packs so far:
Lemmings World Tour (New & Old Formats), my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
Lemmings Open Air, my newest release and follow-up to World Tour, 120 levels
Paralems (Old Formats), a more flavour-driven one, 150 levels
Pit Lems (Old Formats), a more puzzly one, 100 levels - Let's Played by nin10doadict
Lemmicks, a pack for (very old) NeoLemmix 1.43 full of gimmicks, 170 levels

Offline namida

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Re: [SUG] Radiation & Slowfreeze Objects
« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2023, 08:38:17 PM »
Not a fan of the timer stuff in general, but differentiating the two with different colors is a very good idea.
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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Re: [SUG] Radiation & Slowfreeze Objects
« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2023, 05:38:37 PM »
And done! We have red & blue countdowns for Radiation and Slowfreeze respectively, and still use the usual white countdown for Timebombers and Nuke activation.

This feature will be available as of 2.6.1, which will be released in due course.

Implemented in commits c41ec0a89 to 14f6019e7