Monday, December 27, 2010

Teaching Fighting Games to newcomer

Many of the OGs, veterans, or just very adapting players in fighting games have learned, that it can be very difficult to inspire, encourage, or just plain 'n simply teach a newcomer to get better. Simple fact of the matter is this. If they don't have any motivation or interest in becoming a competitive player, then it's simply not going to happen, no matter how much effort you invest in it. However, I think I've come up with a very efficient training program and I'm using this process even now, as this blog is typed. As you cover these topics in order, make sure you're able to cover and show examples. It also helps to teach only what you *do* know and show examples of situations/combos that you're capable of executing. The student/teacher relationship becomes much more stable by doing this. Without further ado, my training regimen:

1) Movement - All the combos and mixups can't help you if you don't know how to make it move with you and your intentions. More than learning the basic fighting game fundamentals, movements is absolute the most basic and mandatory skill that any newcomer should learn first and foremost (Dashing, Backdashing, Walking, Jumping, Jumping in, Jumping Away, Air Dashing, etc). These are the most important mechanics of any fighting game.

2) Approaching - After learning how to move, learning to approach is the next skill that needs to be elaborated. I know many would categorize "approaching" under "movement", but I assure you, a newcomer wouldn't know the difference either. Knowing how to move around the arena isn't the same is knowing how to get in on the opponent. A clear understanding of what to look for and what to look "out" for, while getting closer to the opponent will make things much easier for both the student/teacher relationship in the long run. I promise.

3) Blocking, Runaway, Zoning & the Corner Walls - Whilst a lot is listed and it sounds like a lot to remember, keep in mind, you only want to teach the student only the basics to remembers so that it isn't overwhelming. Teach how to block, how to zone, what to expect in corner situations and then explain a few significances of each circumstance. More importantly, more than any of the listed defense oriented topics, blocking is the most important for a newcomer. Corner walls, Zoning, and Runaway  can be covered much more in-depth at higher levels when they are comfortable playing the game.

4) Basic Combos - At the end of the day, the players just want to play. So let them break the tedious lessons by playing some matches and applying some very basic combos and attack strings. This will probably be the most fun to anybody new coming to the competitive, besides winning of course. Which only brings me to mention, it can be very discouraging if you're intending to just play the game until your friend/student learns to get better. At the end of the day, he or she will just say you're cheating and want to play a game the can actually reach an accomplishment.

5) Making and Breaking Habits - Know some players that play enough of the game to spam a high priority move out of wake up? Well, teaching them to make a habit of this is a both a good and bad thing. Teaching him/her to break this habit is an even better thing. This way, whether they realize this or not, they will feel much more at home with learning new strats, tactics, and feel better about managing better habits. It'sare important to make sure they make a habit of certain moves, situations, etc so they can learn more about what they are doing much later in their learning career.

6) Game Mechanics - Whether you're talking about walk speeds, auto-corrected moves, blocking with a button, or blocking by pressing back, teach the players about the different ways the player can take advantage of the game's mechanics, and cover some of the things that higher level players look for to abuse & exploit the game mechanics.

7) Execution - One of the very last things that any player should work on; is execution.

8) Record and Critique -


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