Tutorial for High-Level Tetris Playing

Thread in 'Strategy' started by milkolate, 22 Feb 2009.

  1. I was able to watch the blink vs SAMAF videos in one of the threads here. Boy, were they epic!

    Is there any tutorial around that shows how to train to be that great?!
  2. If there is any, then there would be more great players by now... [​IMG]
  3. You can do it, so long as you put on your try hard hat, and not that other hat I see a lot of players wearing...


    DIGITAL Unregistered

    Haha, that's just wishful thinking, milkolate. No tutorial alone could make a player that awesome anyway. We could all give you tips here and there but it's ultimately up to you to drive your improvement along. The great thing about these players is that they don't follow any tutorials, any set paths for improvement. They are at a level where they can analyze and find weaknesses in their style to improve.

    The first time I met blink on TDS, he was not that good with T-Spins at all. He was strong but he avoided T-Spins whenever he could. I massacred him back then. Nowadays, it's quite the opposite situation. [​IMG] I would suggest for you to follow the same idea and work on patching up your weaknesses one step at a time. Don't worry too much about not seeing immediate improvement. If you are truly dedicated, everything will come together in the long term.
  5. Aside from the wiki, this site is also a good place to start if you're interested in mastering TGM:

    It is all in Japanese, but you can gain a lot from the animations if you can figure out what they're saying (although unintelligible in general, Babel Fish or Google translation can help piece what the pages are saying)

    Few other tips I'd offer:

    1) Practice and persistence. Nobody here is good without having put in the hours of playing. You can learn all the technical stuff you want, but the quickness of thought and muscle memory isn't going to come through anything other than practice. You don't need to put in that many hours a week, but I'd recommend trying to get at least a game or two a day. Little and often is probably more beneficial than binging and playing all afternoon and then not playing for over a week afterwards. It's also important to push yourself. If you're just sitting inside your comfort zone and practising speeds that you can play at easily, then you should be looking to maybe shift around to other modes, or start on higher levels, because you'll improve very slowly (if at all) if you're not pushing yourself at least at some point.

    2) Learn from the experts. Find videos and watch videos. Don't just sit back and be amazed at the speed or control of the playing style, actually look at what the player is doing when they play. I'd say it's an extremely good way to "study" Tetris. There are a lot of more subtle placements that can be learned from watching videos of better players, which you might not have thought of while just playing yourself.

    3) Use both rotation buttons, or all three preferably (for ARS). For versus you're handicapping your speed massively by not using both. For TGM you're essentially making the 20G levels impossible. Just takes practice and forcing yourself to use them.

    4) Use the previews. They're massively important to planning what you're going to do, to the point where having three in TGM3 makes a massive difference over the first two games. TGM and TAP only have one, which isn't a massive amount of benefit to general stacking decisions, but it's still crucial to think ahead where you're going to put the piece before you actually get it. For SRS games where you get as many as seven previews, they can be extremely important for managing your stack, and even more so for deciding strategy by knowing if you have I or T pieces coming any time soon.

    5) Learn the rotations. For SRS, know when it's beneficial to rotate a piece a certain way. Doesn't necessarily mean you have to pore over the rotation diagrams for hours and hours, but you need to be familiar with them. It should get to the point where all you have to concentrate on is where the piece is going to go, and your subconscious thought just tells your hands what inputs are required for you. For ARS, the only rotation that is crucial to know is that of the I-piece, but it's also a massive benefit to have all the various ways to fix overhangs in your knowledge base.

    6) Use hold. Don't get reliant on it, but definitely don't shy away from using it if the game has it. It's invaluable for when you can't place your next piece anywhere, or for if you need an extra split-second to think or regain control of your stack. Also helpful for keeping I and T pieces for when you need them in versus modes.

    For TGM specifically...

    7) For a beginner, get used to IRS. It can be a little tricky to get the timing when you first start out playing, but with a bit of practice (and holding the button down during ARE, which some people I've seen weren't doing) there should be a 100% success rate except for the very high speeds. Helps to also IRS J and L pieces so that they are in the same rotation state as the letter (ie anti-clockwise for L and clockwise for J), because otherwise they're far more prone to get stuck in holes and on bits of the stack that stick up.

    8 ) Keep the 5th column high (kouza page 6). As long as the fifth column is the tallest one, you can place a piece pretty much anywhere providing you use IRS in the right way. General pyramid structure is advised all the time for TGM and TAP, but the 4th, 5th and 6th columns are especially crucial.

    9) Overhangs > Holes. Providing you know what you're doing, and you know how the actually fill the overhang once you've made it. If you need a demonstration of what I mean, watch some of the videos by the Japanese player KAN (aka JSB or BWV). His use of overhangs to avoid creating holes is insane.

    10) If you do make holes, make them in the right places. Sometimes your stack is a little messy and there's no place to put a piece, and it's quite important to know that when you're being forced to make a hole then it's far better to make one at the sides than in the middle. Holes in the middle are a lot harder to dig up again than ones at the sides. For example, in a situtation like this, placing the O piece over the Tetris well is probably the best thing to do. Though it'd seem a little counter-intuitive to do so, it's easier to get back to a hole-free stack again if you put it there. If there's not much confidence that you actually can uncover the Tetris well easily (and with a stack that bad there wouldn't be much) then against the left wall would probably be better. And of course it'd obviously be better to keep your stack neat so you never have to make the holes in the first place.
  6. Wow!

    Thanks Rosti LFC for the tips!
  7. Amnesia

    Amnesia Piece of Cake

    You deserve my compliments..That would be so easy to just tell "practice 3000h on TGM and that's all", but you found some very detailled and interesting points to work..You should put that somewhere in the wiki..

    DIGITAL Unregistered

    That's a great post, Rosti. I'd just like to add a few thoughts on some points.

    For point 2, studying of experts, I'd recommend studying videos of your own plays as well. Errors tend to stick out like sore thumbs when you watch yourself, giving you an easier time to find out what you may need to improve on.

    For point 3, Rosti has it covered but there's also 180 degree rotation, which is pretty interesting though it's not integrated in most games. If you're looking to push your skill to the next level (even if it has little relevance), you might be interested in trying this out while you are still new.

    For point 5, just to be a bit more specific, learn about wallkicks and floorkicks, initial spawn orientations and locations, and movement finesse. The better you know the rotation system, the more opportunities you will see when playing.
  9. thanks from me also. great tips!

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