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CCLP2 Lynx Project - Status Update



Almost half a year ago I promised an update on what has been done so far in this project. I've started writing this update perhaps a dozen times and every time have instead been inspired to advance the project in some other small way. Like instead of saying "oh we still need to check level #14 for other options" I would actually try to do that. Gradually we have been doing more stuff, and now I'm finally shedding some light on all of it.


Who has been working on this?


In the beginning a few chipsters responded to my request for working on this thing jointly. So at the beginning of 2012 we formed the CCLP2 Lynx Team, comprising of myself, Rock Généreux, Josh Lee, and Dave Varberg. We communicated by email and shared our suggestions for how to convert levels into Lynx. Things advanced sporadically. Later Michael Warner came on board, as some members of the team had to focus on other things in life.


Where did you get your ideas for how exactly to change the levels?


We have examined the levels a lot ourselves, as well as looking at all possible ideas from others that we could come upon. This includes Andrew Bennett's notes on levels at the Chip's Challenge wiki, Ultimasonic's conversion available at the yahoo group, and Syzygy's more recent upload on his own site. Other members of the community have also contributed with ideas, including at least Tyler Sontag and Lessinath. Some ideas have come from multiple sources so it is hard to credit everyone exactly.


Which designers have given permission to use their levels?


All the ones we have managed to contact. Sadly, this has so far only been Mike Lask, Luc Longpré, Rolf Redford, Eric Schmidt, David Stanley, and Kyle Wightman. We are still trying to reach Tyrethali Ansrath, Dave Borgman, Dale Bryan, Paul Hobden, Anders Kaseorg, Hank Lin, John Matthews, Anne Olsen, Christian Ståhl, Drew Thomas, and Drake Wilson. If you can help us get into contact with any of these people, it would be of great help.


What will the set be called?


Had I answered this half a year ago, I would have said CCLP2LX.dat, but now I am not sure any longer. The two current preferred options seem to be CCLP2-LX.dat and CCLXP2.dat, as you can see from this poll. Go vote and we can decide this one together!


Will there be a score board for the set?


Yes, James Anderson has agreed to host one. We kind of already launched the CC1 Lynx board with this in mind and have learned a few small things to improve from that. We considered splitting the scoring on this set into three parts depending on how large the changes to the levels are going to be, but now it seems two sections will work just as well. This is done so that the originally solvable levels can be solved in the original set if one wishes, and the other ones are kept separate. It basically looks like the distinction between timed and untimed levels in CC1.


So what does the set look like right now?


We have a version of the set that is pretty close to being ready for beta testing. All the levels work in Lynx. There are some levels that have pretty clever stuff going on, some where the changes have been pretty obvious, and others where we could still go in some other direction.


Will there be an expanded story?


This is definitely something that would be fun to include. At the very least we will have a new ccx-file that contains some hints for the more complex levels or possibly comments on why some changes were made. An actual story has not yet taken form and this is one of the things YOU can still help shape. Where would be a good place to discuss ideas for this?


What other stuff still needs to be done?


Well, we need to test the levels and see if any of the changes we've implemented have any odd effects we hadn't anticipated. We need to figure out what times to use for the launch of the score board. We need to pick which versions of certain levels we like the most. We need to document our thought process on many of the levels as well as give some measure of how much each level has changed, though admittedly these could partly be done after a release. We need to decide what to do if we can't reach all the designers.


When will the set be released?


We initially envisioned no exact time, but hoped to first contact all the original designers. As this is proving pretty hard to do, we should soon set some sort of date by which we'll make a decision on how exactly to proceed.


How can You help contribute to this thing now?


We have a group chat on Skype that you can ask to join. There we try to discuss what still needs to be discussed, including analyzing levels. To get a taste of this, you can download this and comment on the levels in it here. Take some time to look at even one of the levels and weigh in with your impressions. If you do not want to come on Skype to talk more, we can definitely talk here on the forums too.


Hopefully that brings you up to date on what's been going on so far. Though there is still lots to be done, it looks like we are on the home stretch on this thing! Thanks for your interest and help.


On behalf of the CCLP2 Lynx Team,


Miika Toukola


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