Elma 2 should have new internals

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ofta
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Re: Elma 2 should have new internals

Post by ofta » 2 Nov 2015, 16:57

Ramone wrote:"1. the new internals takeover wr table on moposite"

Gimp wrote this.
to fully understand the issue of gimp we have to look at things at a psychological level. we can assume that gimp (as every other kuski) wants an internal wr. however, he realizes correctly that his skills isn't quite enough. in the half packs, for example, he holds a few wrs, mainly because the levels isn't hoyled to perfection. he therefore thinks that if he can swap the internal levels to other levels, he might drive a few wrs and hope that the "new internals" doesn't ever get maximum hoyled, and that he therefore might feel powerful and view himself as an expert kuski. that is the only reasonable explanation for his wishes. that is his only chance to drive an "internal wr".

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Re: Elma 2 should have new internals

Post by gimp » 2 Nov 2015, 20:34

My bad. I guess prominently placed in wr table section of moposite would be further in line with my thinking now after hearing what everyone had to say. Sorry for contradicting myself. Ramone I am guessing if new internals had separate section rather than takeover your opinion would remain the same?

Ofta I guess I would like a chance at getting a wr sure, who wouldn't want one like you've pointed out. Although my half pack wrs have already been beaten by better kuskis, so I probably couldn't get a wr in new internals but I'd certainly try.
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Re: Elma 2 should have new internals

Post by Pab » 2 Nov 2015, 23:01

Bah! too bad is all about hoyling, even for me. I dont think gimp is crazy, when i played elma for the first time i only wanted more levels. Reached level 18 at demo version, then level 54 and then entered level 55 link looking desperate for more.
I would totally make an "Adventure" section at the elma main menu, make together a 500+ level pack with super mega levels with max. 10 skips or so, would be mega addictive, forget about the hoyling shit.
Is not that hard to follow the internal level design basics to make new levels fun for everyone, imo internals define a pretty good standard of lev design in many ways.
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Re: Elma 2 should have new internals

Post by 8-ball » 4 Nov 2015, 23:51

Juish and John had some good points. Ramone's were the worst and frankly, quite sad. The only proper point there was that we can't use 'Elma 2' as the name. That said, my thoughts are that new internals can feel genuine but only on one condition - the core game experience itself also changes. Let me elaborate.

The reason I believe every major level pack over the last years couldn't get that long-lasting feel with seemingly endless new routes and styles is because people have gotten insanely good over time and the effect is more pronounced every following year. Purely hypothetical, but if a few top people were transported back to 2000 with no memory of internals but the raw skill and control of bike fully preserved, they would reach 36-37 TT within a week, I'm pretty sure. And if the original internals were released just today after years of people playing other levels as 'internals', I'm sure the styles would be found just as quickly as they were in Found level pack and people wouldn't stick long with them. And I think that's because no matter how 'raw', 'simple' or 'unplanned' you try to make a new level pack, you can't repeat the feeling people had when they grew with internals from being noobs going the round route in Steppes to slowly being able to comprehend and execute faster routes, be it copying from someone else or discovering themselves.

I think that for the most part it wasn't genius level designing that enabled it - it was the new possibilities you discover as you climb the difficulty curve and learn to control what at first seems like erratic, uncontrollable movement and physics. I can't stress how important of an element it is for a game's longevity. Every little thing you mastered (be it some bounces, brutals, or even things like accelerating against ceilings and double spacing instead of braking) opened up a world of new possibilities that were previously unthinkable and that feeling was simply intoxicating to all of us.

I believe that in order to have that original exploratory, growing and eventually long-lasting feel with a new level pack, you need at least a significant expansion to the difficulty curve/skill cap. What constitutes enough change is very debatable and subjective and I know many don't want any changes at all but this isn't about them. And don't give me 'Elma is perfect as it is', 'It's always been this way', 'If it ain't broke don't fix it', or 'It wouldn't be Elma without the bugs and everything'. I'm not buying any of that. The way many otherwise respectable members of the community speak of the game is not unlike the way fundies speak of the Bible. Is it blasphemous to even consider that Elma may never have been even close to perfect? I mean, sure, keep the legacy/'classic' Elma 1 experience available in-game, separate records and everything, for those who don't want to move on, but the new core needs to evolve because what doesn't evolve, dies.

Personally I believe the bare minimum of change to the core experience would have to be this:
- Left alovolt (could be slightly different than right alo so mirrored levels are still driven slightly different, also Juish's ideas are worth exploring - perhaps the strength/speed of a volt could even be determined by the time interval between button presses)
- Framerate-independent, bug-free physics (I know the sweet spot would be difficult to determine so another possibility is the ability to switch between 'behavior' settings before you start or even on the fly - one could feel like 30fps does now while another would feel like 60 and another - max fps)

I also believe more small details can be tweaked in a similar manner like from Across to Elma but whether even the tiniest change in either direction for any variable would add depth to the game long term would be difficult to predict. However, we might actually need to change physics enough to not infringe on Balazs's copyrights also, then the game could even be possibly released on Steam, etc. I believe there's now plenty of room to experiment with gimmicks to add new skill elements without directly affecting core physics much - scriptable events, teleports, usable items, different terrain with different effects on wheels, air vents, bouncepads, armor pickups to protect wheels from killers, etc etc - just go wild in the alpha stage and find what works, what doesn't and what ideas are worth iterating on until they could work.

The bottom line is - new levels can only challenge people for so long before it's the game that has to change. I believe that moment has passed. Other games get patched and tweaked constantly to keep them balanced and interesting even for pros. Change is pretty scary when you have a good thing going but the possible gain outweighs the risk, and it can always be tweaked further to keep it fresh. So Balazs doesn't need to come save the day. He obviously never cared about the community and his legacy anyway. It's what I think, anyway.
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Re: Elma 2 should have new internals

Post by Lousku » 5 Nov 2015, 01:36

Wouldn't it be a sik coincidence if the first levels released out of hundreds of thousands were actually the best? Of course most internals are really very good, but that's not the reason they're easily the most appreciated pack. The amount of prestige is much higher than any other levels, because those internals have been played by possibly millions of players, as opposed to a maximum of maybe a thousand on other packs. Numbers pulled from ass but you get the idea. Höyling effort isn't allocated solely based on level quality - of course it matters how many people out there will appreciate your WR, and how many people you had to beat to get there. This cannot be done artificially. Even if Elma sees a rebirth in widespread playing, new players will now have quick access to hundreds of thousands of levels and I think they won't stick to the first pack thrown at them.

As for 8-ball's ideas, it's really hard to say what would work. I'm opposed to new physical mechanics (except bugs and fps dependency fixed), but sure, why not experiment on ideas before dismissing them? But it seems like adding to the learning curve might just serve us, the old players, while making it harder for new players to get into.
then again i don't know anything
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Re: Elma 2 should have new internals

Post by Zweq » 5 Nov 2015, 08:13

My serious opinion is that, yes, it's impossible to replicate the 10 year+ long styles and skills progression that were experienced in internal levels. If you think about the styles and skills progression in for example serpents tale it's just very very sick and will not happen again, nor feel the same. Maybe sub 50 style would still not be found if serpents tale was a new external lev because ppl rarely test different fps values in non-internals, but you never know.

So the conclusion is that in my opinion without changes to physics there is no need to replace internals. One idea could be that you'd have a menu to choose between legacy internals and the new community created internals, just to give the "new internals" that little extra spotlight and incentive to play them. Then again EOL level pack was incentivized heavily but interest to the pack died very quickly, the expectations were high, but reception very negative (maybe rightfully so). I guess if a pack is good people will play it, no matter what, and if it's bad...ye.
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Re: Elma 2 should have new internals

Post by FinMan » 5 Nov 2015, 13:31

The thing about external packs as internals is, I already feel like my HALF total time is better than my Internal total time, even if i have a couple of shitty times there still. Maybe that's bullshit but anyway.

What's good about the internal levels is the roughness, all the possibilities etc. It's not like bowling is a great battle level by any standards but it's a great(ish) level to be played for 15 years. Same goes for a lot of levels, the stuff is just so out-of-casual compared to the current battle meta whatever. If you could reach that and beyond, you could get some nice stuff over a longer period of time. But again, the skill level of the top players is just too strong compared to 2004 or whatever.

Also, all the bounces are just the same as any bugs, wheel pops towards the ground. Though, completely fine with removing them as a whole, also good idea to remove (all) the randomness on them.

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Re: Elma 2 should have new internals

Post by skint0r » 5 Nov 2015, 14:56

Don't care too much either way, but I guess replacing internals isn't much of a point in the end. Maybe you could do something ala Diablo 3, Hearthstone etc. and make some kind of "seasons" each month or so with some selected packs and just compete for total time and records and keep some kind of hall of fame list and stats etc.
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Re: Elma 2 should have new internals

Post by Ramone » 5 Nov 2015, 22:16

I would love new elma with new internals. But then we need new Elma, and yeah, new elma needs some changes to physics (left alo, change strength of volts alo, stiffer bike or similar, not my place to decide), new features (many cool ones seems allready included in iPhone Elma), fixed fps and bug fixing (bounces, vsync, hooked bug and so on). Would be sick. As someone wrote, new levels can only do so much. Anyway, Elma 2 should be done by Balazs or if he gives permission.

Yes, I am very against calling same game version 2 and making externals and renaming them as internals.

Some season/or year packs could be awesome. New version of EOL sounds good. Could include thosefeatures.

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Re: Elma 2 should have new internals

Post by iltsu » 6 Nov 2015, 11:21

We don't need new internals.
End topic.

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Re: Elma 2 should have new internals

Post by Polarix » 4 Feb 2016, 02:35

what 8ball said.

Good examples by Ramone about the 3 first super mario bros releases(SMB, SMB LL and SMB2). Sums this up perfectly.
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Re: Elma 2 should have new internals

Post by BlaZtek » 25 Feb 2016, 14:20

I think if new Internals should be made, the must be made by ONE guy. A smart guy, like Markku. Or is the opposite maybe the best? Let a total nab make the levels?
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Re: Elma 2 should have new internals

Post by ville_j » 25 Feb 2016, 14:37

It kinda would make sense. These new packs where multiple different designers make levels look like it's some kind of a fucking circus, there is no consistency. But whether this one guy should be Markku or someone else or even anyone smart, I don't know. Then again I don't really even believe in creating new successful internals by anyone else than the original team who created Elma.
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Re: Elma 2 should have new internals

Post by Zero » 25 Feb 2016, 15:17

BlaZtek wrote:I think if new Internals should be made, the must be made by ONE guy.
I don't see the reason to that. Original internals were made by 3 or 4 designers.

I also agree with ville. EOL pack was quite a disaster.. As far as I see it the problem was that the levels were picked just because they were made by a certain designer. For instance Ramone levels in that pack were not his best work at all.. Yet all of them were picked.
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Re: Elma 2 should have new internals

Post by gimp » 25 Feb 2016, 20:44

It will be totally psychological. New internals could turn out 'better' than the original ones, but people would still reject them and call them shit because of a fear of change. The quality of the levels is secondary, the manor in which new internals is presented is what could psychologically tilt people's favor towards them, I.g. if they were made by balazs, had a prominent place on moposite like current table, were included in the internals section within game, and came out with a 'new version' of elma. I sound like a broken record stating these requirements, but they are important.

Let's not focus on WHAT is coming out (this would only promote cynicism and skepticism), but WHY are we doing it (promoting inspiration)?

Will we always be content with the same levels from the same game 20 years ago, or should we create something new and just as special for ourselves? The scene has many talented individuals who are efficient at keeping the scene alive. One day I believe new internals will be made and they will be successful, just like the original ones.
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Re: Elma 2 should have new internals

Post by Zero » 25 Feb 2016, 22:34

gimp wrote:One day I believe new internals will be made and they will be successful, just like the original ones.
We need a whole new topic to discuss how that could ever happen.. A new EOL pack simply can't happen if you want to call them the new internals.

If you read this topic you will find quotes like: "People only like the levels because of nostalgy" I strongly disgree with that. I think there is a reason why many of the internal levels are so iconic. The raw design including unsmooth loops, "illogical" apple placements and spots that might feel weird when you first look at them gives a really timeless feeling to the levels. My friend tested elma for the first time quite recently and pretty much every time he entered a new level he hated it but after that a-ha moment it suddenly became cool. I also happened to spy some first timers who were playing EOL levels. It was just pure struggle in many of the levels since they are planned for people who can already play this game. Planned tricks that require knowledge. That is not a good first impresson.

There is a reason why packs like Lost, Found and AI have done so well as level packs. Olliz levels for instance might be easier to approach and funnier to cruise in but who wants to hoyl them for a long time? With that type of design you aim for a nice first impression but not much more. Olliz levels are awesome and everything but imo this kind of levels should never be
Internals.

In conclusion: If you want new internal levels please spend the time studying why they were and still are so liked. Ignoring the brilliance of them while planning a new pack won't end well.
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Re: Elma 2 should have new internals

Post by kuchitsu » 26 Feb 2016, 00:03

Can you pls elaborate on what is "illogical" apple placement in internals? It's an interesting topic, I always wonder how to place apples in interesting, non-traditional ways.

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Re: Elma 2 should have new internals

Post by Zero » 26 Feb 2016, 00:15

kuchitsu wrote:Can you pls elaborate on what is "illogical" apple placement in internals? It's an interesting topic, I always wonder how to place apples in interesting, non-traditional ways.
First apples in Zig-Zag for instance. They sure make a difference but who would think that way in the first place? Usually we place apples only when they are required. In the end of a tunnel etc.
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Re: Elma 2 should have new internals

Post by kuchitsu » 26 Feb 2016, 17:57

Oh I see, that's an interesting point. I guess the top apples in Tunnel Terror also count: some of them seem "unnecessary".

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Re: Elma 2 should have new internals

Post by Lousku » 26 Feb 2016, 18:03

Zero wrote:If you read this topic you will find quotes like: "People only like the levels because of nostalgy" I strongly disgree with that.
But... the only mention of nostalgy in this topic was this:
Zero wrote:A new pack of levels will never be in the same category with internals. There is way too much nostalgy behind those levels. In World Cup 6 there was an actual Csaba Rozsa level and it was one of the more/most disliked levels in the entire cup. A "new" internal level doesn't get any closer than that..
My opinion: Same internals and few external packs as a default.
then again i don't know anything
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Re: Elma 2 should have new internals

Post by Chris » 26 Feb 2016, 18:08

I believe that is because internals were not necessary in designed to hoyled, but rather to fun to drive by newbies. Apples give you sense of progression in level. All the WRs styles are kind of by-product or like the pipe in headbanger meant to by impossible. The difference in how we design levels is that we try to make possible many quick styles, not necessary easy or fun for newbies. This is how EOL pack was designed.
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Re: Elma 2 should have new internals

Post by abruzzi » 4 Jul 2017, 01:18

Chris wrote:I believe that is because internals were not necessary in designed to hoyled, but rather to fun to drive by newbies. Apples give you sense of progression in level. All the WRs styles are kind of by-product or like the pipe in headbanger meant to by impossible. The difference in how we design levels is that we try to make possible many quick styles, not necessary easy or fun for newbies. This is how EOL pack was designed.

I think a good try might be to find an artistic person in one's neighbourhood, who doesn't completely know about elma's existence, show them internals, and turn off timer, so that they wouldn't even think of playing the game for best times. Just tell them to make some more levels like that, so that people can cruise, have fun finishing levels. And then we harvest these 54 untouched-by-pr0ness fruit :beer: Maybe the levels would need some tiny applewise or w/e adjustments, but that would be a fairly good attempt imo.
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