Starting to learn tetris

Thread in 'Strategy' started by Zednom, 18 Jan 2008.

  1. Zednom

    Zednom Unregistered

    What is considered a good starting/progression order for a player that's very new to tetris?

    I played Lockjaw for a few days, and then got TGM1 and TAP - and have been trying them out for a tiny bit in the past couple of days.

    It seems logical to start with TGM1, so I've been playing that more (my highest rank/time is S2 in 8 minutes I think, nothing to call home about [​IMG] ) but I've noticed it's different than TAP. There's no instant-drop, nor are there the instant-drop-then-slide moves, which I found convenient.

    I guess what I'm asking is - I'm not sure if there's a difficulty difference between TGM1 and TAP, or any reason to play TGM1 before TAP - but should I be practicing in TGM1 - and only if I ever reach GM, then move on to TAP?

    Also, is the key to learning when just starting out to just play consistently and learn from error? Or are there general strategies/tips about building and rotating that I should be looking at first before I develop any bad habits?

  2. gila

    gila Unregistered

    i suggest you read this:

    also, wiki has some great information (with lots of details) on TGM and TAP

    (follow the links from this article on, there are lots of other tetris-related info)

    and of course, TAP is much more difficult than TGM! and the 3rd one in the series, TI, is even harder - it's insane, just check out some TI videos on youtube. oh yeah, there are some nice TGM vids there too, check 'em out, i suppose.
  3. Play whatever you find fun. Going for TGM1 Gm is an excellent goal to have, but if that gets boring by all means try something else and come back to it later.

    In terms of strategy there are some common placement lessons that you can read up on. I recall DIGITAL wikifying this but I can't recall what it was called.

    The only serious advice I have is use both the clockwise and counterclockwise rotation buttons. This is not optional even if you're playing for survival.
  4. Zaphod77

    Zaphod77 Resident Misinformer

    ABsolutely correct there. whiel using the second rotate button is optional at normal tetris speeds, it is REQUIRED at 20G play, as often you need to Initial Rotate an L or J piece a specific direction to get it out of the middle. So, it is best to learn it now. I'm having troubles because i learned using 1 rotation button back in the day.
  5. tepples

    tepples Lockjaw developer

    I didn't learn counterclockwise rotation until I started playing Dr. Mario between my games of Tetris.
  6. Muf


    I still only rotate one way with SRS, but for ARS the second rotate button is as natural as if I'm born with it.

    My advice would be to practice TGM1 first, as I've noticed that going from an older version to a newer version is much more comfortable than the other way around. I basically learned ARS by playing Heboris' Ti-ARS rotations (which are taken from Ti), and now that I've gotten TAP to run properly, I'm having hell getting accustomed to the lack of floorkick on the I piece. The most important things to learn first in my opinion are general placement without leaving gaps (TGM1 is great to learn that because it has a semi-flawed randomiser) and bidirectional rotation. After that you can move to TAP normal mode to get your speed up (using sonic drop, zangi, etc).

    I'll be interested to watch your progress as I'm a n00b myself (started in December from an almost-blank slate). I wonder how fast you'll progress [​IMG]
  7. Zaphod77

    Zaphod77 Resident Misinformer

    specifically, Js usually need clockwise Initial Rotation and Ls usually need counterclockwise to keep from getting stuck in holes. With Ts it usally doesn't matter, but it helps to press the correct one first, and of course with a S or a Z it doesnt' matter what button you press in ARS, though it can make a big difference in SRS.

    I'm used to counterclockwise rotation (button a). Having to play with only clockwise gives me very bad tetlag.

    DIGITAL Unregistered

  9. Actually, I was reffering to the stuff you did inspired by the non-tspin TIT pages. Unless they're both the same and I'm confused.

    DIGITAL Unregistered

    Now you have me confused. [​IMG] I do have something in the works, but I don't recall anything else of the sort on the wiki.

    DIGITAL Unregistered

    Yeah, those are the only non-twist pages on there. [​IMG]
    And yeah, I'm working on something similar.
  12. TGM's grading is a lot less steep (and also easier to understand), so it's probably better to play TGM, at least until you're getting to level 500 and above. Then move onto TAP and Death mode.

    DIGITAL Unregistered

    Hmm, I started out on Heboris so I wouldn't know. But TGM felt painful when I first played it though. Not painful in that it's hard to beat but painful in that everything just felt sluggish.
  14. Zednom

    Zednom Unregistered

    Thank you for all the replies!

    I read all the links - they're very useful. I wasn't really sure how the level system worked.

    I have been trying to use both counterclockwise and clockwise, but once it speeds up enough, I panic and some times will press the wrong one. I don't think I've been up as high as level 500 yet, only mid 400's, so I think I should still play TGM for longer. I still don't think I can build (even at slow rates) evenly without holes every once and a while, so I'm really trying to fix that first. I some times dig myself into a hole trying not to leave any holes (funny how that works) and end up in situations like having three huge gaping tower-like holes that I need nothing but l's for the next six turns to fix [​IMG] On that note, I'm also horrible at placing l's at the high speeds. I always get them stuck somewhere I don't want them (if I rotate before they come out), or if I try to wait and rotate them after sliding, I realize that I can't do it (I saw in the guide that they rotate based on where their third block from the left is, and even while playing after reading that, I still struggle with what is/isn't possible once the game speeds up).

    I agree with Digital that TGM feels a bit sluggish after having played TAP, Heboris, and Lockjaw, but I think I'll stick to it for a while longer - as mufunyo said - I'm sure it's an easier transition to progress through the games and gain nicer controls rather than regress and lose them.

    This also tempts me, not only because I'm playing with a keyboard, but because that would also feed my Marvel vs Capcom 2 addiction, when added to this. It gets so much praise from everyone around here as well, and it's always hard adjusting to something after playing one way for long(from keyboard to joystick, or controller to joystick). I think I'll refrain for the moment though, see if I'm still interested in tetris after a while.

    Also, mufunyo - I'm curious as to what you're capable of doing now in TGM/TAP, if you don't mind me asking. [​IMG]

  15. This is perfectly normal, so keep at it! If you keep forcing yourself to try and use both, it will very very soon become natural.
  16. Muf


    Grade 2 in TAP Master as of now, one grade lower than my Heboris Ti-ARS Master-G3 score. I only got TAP running properly a few days ago, so I'm still getting used to it. I don't have any significant records in TGM1 (played it only sporadically). I have a record for Heboris Ti-ARS 20G-G3 BIG mode, and this is my current record for TAP Normal mode. I also got an S4 in Heboris SRS-X Devil-DOOM once (hit the torikan), which demonstrates how much-much-MUCH easier SRS is than ARS.
  17. Zednom

    Zednom Unregistered

    It's of course, after I ask the question that I realize my understanding of grades in all the games is really very minimal. So I'm not quite sure what these all mean in practical terms, but I'm sure they're good. [​IMG]

    I'm hoping this is the case. I notice another problem I have is distinguishing L's and J's - I know they're separate colors but at high speeds I just see the shapes some times and think "Perfect" and rotate it to place it in a completely wrong spot(a spot where a "J" rotated would fit perfectly, for instance, but a "L" just makes things worse [​IMG]) I'm hoping the recognition and distinguishing between the two will come naturally too. Need more practice!
  18. Muf


    I wouldn't be so sure. I'm still very much a newbie and play like one. And get grades like one. I'm afraid S1 on TAP Master is still a month away for me.
  19. To start with you'll improve quite rapidly. Most people do.

    Working on TGM grades, I find most people I know who have started playing will improve reasonably well up until around levels 500~600, when the 20G starts killing them (and the huge grade 1 -> S1 gap doesn't help things if they're playing TAP).

    This is because most of your low-gravity play comes from practice, and trial and error. Your mind will learn the colours quite quickly if you play, without you even trying to consciously learn them. Your spatial awareness and reasoning will improve too, and you will take less time to 'see' where the piece will fit best.

    There's also the fact that to start with, your mind has to do two things. It has to figure out where the piece should go, and then it has to figure out what you're going to press to get it there. After practice, the second one becomes natural. You think where to put the piece, and your fingers basically put it there for you, without much active thought.

    Gm rank on TGM is not something that is easy to do. It takes a lot of time and work, but the important thing is that you can get there (eventually) if you have the motivation and determination to keep playing, even when it doesn't feel like you're improving or getting anywhere.

    I started playing TGM after already being pretty good at Tetris DS. Speed was never a problem with me, though the transition from SRS to ARS caused a lot of headaches. Took me around 9 months (though quite a lot of that had little or no TGM playing) to go from my starting point of S2 to Gm.

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