Author Topic: [SUG] Allow Zombies to interact with exits, buttons & pickups  (Read 2329 times)

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Offline WillLem

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From this topic:

Quote from: jkapp76
It might be quite an interesting thing if a zombie could hit a button after crossing poison.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2023, 12:35:47 AM by WillLem »

Offline WillLem

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Re: [SUG] Allow Zombies to interact with buttons & pickups
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2023, 01:48:48 AM »
I just checked and can confirm that, currently, Zombies do not interact with buttons (as I expected they would). They do, however, interact with all other objects except for exits.

So, button interactibility will be added for Zombies in the next version of SLX.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2023, 12:36:11 AM by WillLem »

Offline WillLem

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Re: [SUG] Allow Zombies to interact with buttons & pickups
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2023, 01:54:53 AM »
There's an idea which I've been riffing with for the past few months regarding Zombies' interaction with Exits.

Originally, I wanted to create a Zombies-only Exit - the idea being to try and guide Zombies towards it without being infected in the process, and they would then count towards the save requirement.

But, I've had a better idea in the meantime. What if Zombies can enter regular exits, but each Zombie that does so counts as -1 towards the "lems saved" amount?

I believe this would add further interest to the "Kill All Zombies" talisman idea, because it could become an outright requirement of the actual level itself. Or, at the very least, players could be required to prevent the Zombies from reaching the Exit.

One thing worth bearing in mind: as of SLX 2.5, Zombies move at half the speed of regular lems.

Thoughts?

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [SUG] Allow Zombies to interact with buttons & pickups
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2023, 08:25:16 PM »
This is what used to be called “Classic Zombies” in Very-Old Formats (NeoLemmix 1.43); it was one of the gimmicks. The effects of this can be observed on at least one level from Lemmicks (in the Bedlam rank).

I assume when you say “they interact with all other objects besides exits”, you don’t mean pickup skills? ;) Because Classic Zombies in Very-Old Formats could also collect pickup skills for the player.

I’m not sure if this should become a general design change, though. Again, I would assume there is a reason why this didn’t become the default behaviour for Zombies in NeoLemmix, even though it existed as an option for a while.

So when you say it will be added to the next version, does that mean adding the option of having Zombies interact with buttons and pickups? Or will it become the new standard behaviour?
My packs so far:
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Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [SUG] Allow Zombies to interact with buttons & pickups
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2023, 08:46:38 PM »
As someone who has been one of the few users somewhat fond of Zombies within NeoLemmix, I’ll have to say even I am confused by the strange priorities we’re currently setting. :lem-shocked: Zombies so far have been a fringe occurrence in any NeoLemmix pack, even those that featured comparatively many of them (like Paralems).

I’ll just say it out loud:
Why are we even having these fringe discussions about adding more and more features to Zombies, while simultaneously considering fundamental game-breaking decisions like culling a long-established skill like the Fencer? :evil:

Even after changes like this have been added to SLX, I doubt people will create that many more Zombie levels. In other words, this will only affect a handful of levels anyway. Whereas some of the other changes that are being considered right now would have huge ripple effects.

So frankly, while the suggestions you’re proposing here make sense to me (like subtracting 1 lemming from the save count for every Zombie that enters an exit :thumbsup:), I don’t really care all that much about what happens to Zombies in SuperLemmix vs. NeoLemmix. It’s at the bottom of the priority list. The much more important part is not to damage the game by removing far more essential features, such as existing skills, only to try and make up for that by adding things that are, with regards to the vast majority of levels, trivial.

And keep in mind this is coming from someone who has made a comparatively large number of Zombie levels. Some users on this forum have never made a single level containing them.
My packs so far:
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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] Allow Zombies to interact with buttons & pickups
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2023, 09:36:08 PM »
Strato Incendus brings an interesting thing into this conversation. Can zombies grab pickup skills?

As a newer player with little experience on these things I haven't thought out all issues this may create, but what if zombies can only grab pickup skills that don't need clicked to activate. Like climber, glider, slider, floater, disarmer. walker? Then the zombie can't grab skills for the uninfected lemming, only themself. And these are applied immediately upon grabbing them.

Zombies do seem like a low-priority thing and I wouldn't want them to end up feeling gimmicky.


Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [SUG] Allow Zombies to interact with buttons & pickups
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2023, 09:41:46 PM »
Now you’re (probably unknowingly) bringing yet another gimmick into this — the “instant pickup skills” gimmick. ;)

When I say “Zombies could collect pickup skills in Classic Zombie mode”, this means these skills were added to the player’s skill panel. You merely had the Zombies collect them for you, too, rather than just regular lemming being able to do that job.

Only when combining the “Classic Zombies” gimmick with the “instant pickup skills” gimmick should these pickups consequently be assigned to the Zombies themselves.

I don’t think I’ve ever tried that specific combination on any of the Bedlam levels in my gimmick pack Lemmicks, though; hence, I’m not sure if this interaction actually does work out in practice the way I currently imagine it. I’m merely saying this is what I would logically expect to happen.

But if you combine Classic Zombies and instant pickup skills in this manner, it should e.g. be possible to have a Zombie run into a Bomber or Stoner pickup skill (in SuperLemmix, the latter would be a Freezer pickup) in order to kill that Zombie. Then again, a similar effect can be achieved by having the Zombie run into Radiation or Slowfreeze, now that they’ve been re-added to SuperLemmix.
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
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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] Allow Zombies to interact with buttons & pickups
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2023, 09:50:38 PM »
So when you say it will be added to the next version, does that mean adding the option of having Zombies interact with buttons and pickups? Or will it become the new standard behaviour?

Regarding buttons, my own expectation is that Zombies should interact with them, so this will become the standard as of 2.5 onwards.

I didn't even think about Pickups, but since it's come into the discussion here there probably isn't any need for a separate topic. I don't like the idea of anything assigning skills to a lemming other than player input, so "instant-assigning-pickups" or even the currently-in-development "permanent-skill-assigner" in NeoLemmix will not be making an appearance in SuperLemmix.

As to whether zombies should be able to grab pickups and add them to the panel for use elsewhere, I can't see any reason not to allow this, but I can see why there might be a case against it. Thoughts?

Online Proxima

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Re: [SUG] Allow Zombies to interact with buttons & pickups
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2023, 09:58:39 PM »
As to whether zombies should be able to grab pickups and add them to the panel for use elsewhere, I can't see any reason not to allow this, but I can see why there might be a case against it. Thoughts?

Probably the same reason this was removed from NL -- zombies are enemies, it doesn't make sense that they should give skills to your team.

(Zombies interacting with buttons was probably removed for the same reason, but it makes sense to me that zombies have weight and should activate buttons regardless of being enemies.)

Offline Strato Incendus

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Re: [SUG] Allow Zombies to interact with buttons & pickups
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2023, 10:02:13 PM »
Quote from: WillLem
I don't like the idea of anything assigning skills to a lemming other than player input, so "instant-assigning-pickups" or even the currently-in-development "permanent-skill-assigner" in NeoLemmix will not be making an appearance in SuperLemmix.

Then that’s in direct contradiction to the return of Radiation and Slowfreeze, because they do precisely that. :P

Quote from: WillLem
As to whether zombies should be able to grab pickups and add them to the panel for use elsewhere, I can't see any reason not to allow this, but I can see why there might be a case against it. Thoughts?

The key to making it transparent and intuitive to the player is consistency.
If you’ve already decided that Zombies should hit buttons, then they should also interact with all other “positive” triggered objects. That would include pickup skills.

(Traps would be “negative” triggered objects, whereas things like teleporters are triggered objects that I would consider neutral in and of themselves — whether they’re good or bad for the player depends on where in the level they are placed. For example, some teleporters teleport a lemming directly into a trap. :evil:)

That said, this argument is based on game mechanics; Proxima’s argument makes sense to me, too — it’s just that it’s more based on “flavour”.
This would spark questions like: “Is hitting a button a thing any lemming does automatically, by merely stepping onto them? Or is it an action the lemming performs when walking past the button?” :D

In the latter case, it’s not something an enemy would do; whereas in the former, even an enemy wouldn’t have any way of avoiding it.
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] Allow Zombies to interact with buttons & pickups
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2023, 10:18:13 PM »
The ideas around them nabbing permanent skill pickups is basically just the new Assigner objects with extra steps. ;P
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Offline WillLem

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Re: [SUG] Allow Zombies to interact with buttons & pickups
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2023, 11:03:24 PM »
Probably the same reason this was removed from NL -- zombies are enemies, it doesn't make sense that they should give skills to your team.
---
it makes sense to me that zombies have weight and should activate buttons regardless of being enemies.

Yes, this is pretty much what I was thinking as well. I suppose buttons can vary in how they're presented (I have some that appear as "coins" and "sonic rings" to be collected like in a platform game, for instance), which could maybe detract from the idea of these items being "automatically" triggered by whoever and whatever encounters them...

The key to making it transparent and intuitive to the player is consistency.
If you’ve already decided that Zombies should hit buttons, then they should also interact with all other “positive” triggered objects. That would include pickup skills.

In that case, I'd rather allow anything and everything than exclude buttons for the sake of pickups.

This also gives more weight to the idea of an Exit being an interactive object for Zombies.

The ideas around them nabbing permanent skill pickups is basically just the new Assigner objects with extra steps. ;P

Can Zombies interact with skill assigners in NeoLemmix? Either way, it might help to answer the particular questions in this topic.



Quote from: WillLem
I don't like the idea of anything assigning skills to a lemming other than player input, so "instant-assigning-pickups" or even the currently-in-development "permanent-skill-assigner" in NeoLemmix will not be making an appearance in SuperLemmix.

Then that’s in direct contradiction to the return of Radiation and Slowfreeze, because they do precisely that. :P

Funnily enough, I never thought of it that way, but you are of course correct! I think that the countdown timer (which is now variable as of 2.5) is what's distracted me from the fact that they are, in fact, skill assigners.

The timer does give these objects a slightly different flavour than those which endow a lem with a permanent skill or cause them to immediately begin an action - ultimately, it still feels like the player is in control.

I have to say though, when the idea of Radiation and Slowfreeze was first suggested for SuperLemmix, my initial reaction was to think "no, I don't like the idea of that" - on reflection, it's probably the automatic-assignment element of the object that put me off at first. I then realised that it would help to increase the profile of Timebombers and Freezers within the game, and that they are ideal as a real-time game element. This is particularly true now that the level designer can set the countdown value anywhere between 1 and 99 - these could make for some very interesting levels!

Offline WillLem

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Re: [SUG] Allow Zombies to interact with buttons & pickups
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2023, 11:12:41 PM »
Quote from: Strato Incendus
the suggestions you’re proposing here make sense to me (like subtracting 1 lemming from the save count for every Zombie that enters an exit :thumbsup:)

Great, thanks - I'll count this as being in favour of the proposal.

Anyone else in favour? Not in favour?

Regarding everything else in Strato's post - for those concerned about existing content, the fact that not a lot of Zombie levels exist means that we can do more with the feature without this being too much of a worry.

And, maybe the additions to the Zombie feature set will mean that more levels are created in the future ;P
« Last Edit: July 29, 2023, 12:38:04 AM by WillLem »

Offline WillLem

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Re: [SUG] Allow Zombies to interact with exits, buttons & pickups
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2023, 12:41:34 AM »
I've now merged the separate "Zombies exiting" topic, since it can probably all be discussed in one single topic.



How about this, then...

:lemming: If Zombies exit, they count as -1 towards the total lems saved.

:lemming: If they encounter a pickup, the pickup is destroyed and can no longer be collected by another lem.

:lemming: Buttons can be different - Zombies can press buttons and it can still count towards opening the Locked Exit. Reason: if we go with Zombies counting as -1 when they exit, then they still - even as enemies - have a reason to want to unlock an Exit.

I think this is a good enough proposal that we should at least trial the behaviour and see if we like it. I've already pretty much implemented it all as well, I just think we could do with specific sounds for Zombies exiting and pickups being destroyed.

Online Proxima

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Re: [SUG] Allow Zombies to interact with exits, buttons & pickups
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2023, 12:52:21 AM »
:lemming: If they encounter a pickup, the pickup is destroyed and can no longer be collected by another lem.

I hadn't thought of this idea at all, but it's very good! :thumbsup: