Tasselfoot Tips General Gaming Tutorials 5 – Mastering Games through Teamwork and Right Attitude


About Tasselfoot Tips General Gaming Tutorials
Why give a man a fish when you can teach him how to fish.

Tass Tips Episode 5 Mastering Games with MrRubix Part 1/2

Tass Tips Episode 5 Mastering Games with MrRubix Part 2/2

Summary of Mastering Games Part 5 of Tass Tips General Gaming Tutorials
Enter the game free of assumption. Don’t assume that the given level is the best you can do.
Else, you won’t be motivated to score even higher than the cap set by the game.
Work as a team [through forum/chat] to find optimal solution to win the game with highscore.
Share your solutions with others, so others could improve on yours, so all will benefit.
Share ideas with your team to spark out new solutions/strategy even though all are stuck.
There are 3 types of optimization in a game: Score, Time and Moves.
Example of Score-based games: Desktop Tower Defense Pro.
Example of Time-based games: Amberial Axis, Open Doors 2.
Example of Moves-based games: Lightbot, Exorbis 2.

Tasselfoot:
Hey guys, welcome to Tass Tips, Episode 5 – Mastering Games. Today we are going to go and take everything we taught you before and we are going to apply it to high end gameplay. Once you have done well in a game, how can you get the highscore and be the best and dominate all your friends. As a special guest for everything, I’m here with my main man, MrRubix. He is a man of few words but his gameplay speaks for himself. In this 2 parts special episode, we are going to show you and answer your question as to how you get to the top of the leaderboards.
MrRubix:
Even though we will be going to talk a little about this strategy behind how to do well in this game, I first would like to touch about the psychology behind some of it. One of the most important things that you can do in the game is to have the right attitude. If you go into a new game, and you automatically have this assumption that you only going to be getting this so far or you won’t be able achieve a certain score, you’re most likely going to be having a self fulfilling prophecy. I can’t count the number of times where all the players in the “Impossible is Nothing” for example has said, this given limit, this score is not possible to do. We can only get this far. And then someone ends up beating that score and then we realized that what we thought it was impossible before actually was far from it. It is important to go into the game free of assumptions in terms of what is possible and what isn’t. And sometimes we have no idea how possible something maybe. But one of the most important things that you can do is to collaborate and work with teams. Then I come back and shave a couple more, and all of the sudden, 10 seconds past where we were 15 minutes ago. All because we work together, were if we hadn’t, we would just being stuck, and we would have thought Oh I can’t do any better than that, and boom, we would given up. There wouldn’t be any optimization. We wouldn’t get to that leaderboard. It is very important, we cannot stress that I mention in other videos, teamwork is so essential to getting better and improving your score on a game.
MrRubix:
One of the main strength behind working together in teams is the notion that even if everyone out of a standstill, even if you don’t know how to solve the given problem, an idea you propose might spark an idea that another person that you are working with, and together this sort of generation of ideas helps each other achieve a common goal of doing better in this game.
Tasselfoot
Is that think tank mentality, that i mention in the last episode, which is really why we are doing this and bringing this topic to you now, because it takes the ideas from the gaming within constraints topic and expands upon it and brings it further and takes it to a new level. So what we would want to do is to we want to give you what we think are 5 different forms of optimizations. We are going to give you examples and some tips and advice for those different types optimizations and to how we go about improving and optimizing under those conditions and constraints. First up, MrRubix here is going to talk about time optimization.
MrRubix:
Before I talk about time optimizations, there is one thing I would like to clarify in terms of a terminology that we would be using for the rest of the video. There are 2 different kinds of limit. There is a soft limit and a hard limit. A hard limit in a game is,,,
Tasselfoot
In my pants…
MrRubix:
Not in your pants, that is a super soft limit. But what I’m talking about here is a soft limit being a given metric of score that you don’t know is the maximum or best achievable level of doing something, whereas that would be a hard limit. If you can achieve a certain score of optimal solution you know you can’t do any better based on the constraint of the game, and way the game works. Soft limit is you can get close to what is best possible due to human error or things in that nature you can’t do the best that is humanly possible.
Tasselfoot
Like lag, computer performance wil have a large impact on soft limit games, especially dealing with time.
MrRubix:
So an example of sort of hard limit time game in terms of time optimization would be something like Open Doors 2. There is a certain limit to how fast your character, or whatever you want to call it to, can move. Box. How fast your box can move? And the, there is definitely a shorter solution to the exit. There is going to be a certain limit as to how fast you can get to start to finish, and therefore for the entire game there is a certain time limit which you can’t do better than that. One of the most important aspects to keep in mind in optimizing a game with the hard time limit is to break down in sub components. In this case, you want to find the shortest path from beginning to end. And after you done that, the hard work is finish
is basically then a matter of using your fingers and pressing the keys as fast as you can at the right time so that you can traverse the shortest path as quickly as possible. Sometimes it takes multiple tries to get the best time as possible but this again, it sorts ties back to the teamwork aspects, if you are working with a team of people and they all sort of knows what is the shortest path is, and everyone is going as fast as they can. Eventually, everyone sort of approaches a certain limit of time in a game like this where you know you can’t do better. Occasionally, someone would get 1 second better and once we know that is possible, then we all work as hard as we can until we can achieve that limit. And an example of a soft limit time optimization would be something like Amberial Axis as Tass mentioned. In his last video, which I’m sure you all enjoy my rage. But the…
Tasselfoot:
We certainly did..
MrRubix:
Yeah, But the… I don’t konw what to say now. But seriously, Amberial Axis is a good example of this because even though you can move as fast as you can, there are lots of inconsistencies that don’t exist in a game like Open Doors 2. In Open Doors 2 you can go side to side, up and down and that is what you can only do. In Amberial Axis, you have 360 degrees of freedom basically depending where you are moving, left and right motion, and you can go all over the place. The momentum is very hard to control. And as a result, there are lots of variance that is inheritance and sort of time time you get at a given level. Even though you can still do better, and better and better, in terms of your time, there is always… comes up a couple of cases you exceptionally clean run or just a lucky sort of break in terms of something that is hard to reproduce everytime, and you can do better on soft optimization. Another game like this is Super Stacker 2.
Tasselfoot
I think we all try our time optimization through speed running and couple of different things that comes into play is that you’re not going to click as fast as you are or sometimes the game mechanics themselves will interfere, whereby you click inside one of your other blocks, that won’t drop. Certain things that the timer will come in to play, lag affected as well as, I think alot of difference between the soft and hard cap really deals in terms of how wide open gameplay is. Something like what we said Open Doors 2, is pretty pretty simple. There aren’t too many outside mechanics which makes it much easier to have a defined hard limit to it, whereas a game like Amberial Axis dealing with momentum and 360 degrees of freedom, and bouncing off different crysaline structures, or Super Stacker 2, where there are 10 different levels to go through, you have fraction of a second that would interfere and take away points here and there. We would go and cause it to be much harder to find and reproduce cross consistency in hard limit, which therefore creates your soft limit. Other examples of soft limit are games like Pyro or Rooms.
Tasselfoot
Yeah, we can’t stress that enough guys. Seriously, teamwork, collaborations. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. I mean literally it sounds cliche but its true. You know, we keep referring that to Impossible is Nothing which is our chat on Kongregate. But its true, alot of us guys in there, we will work together and new game will be release and all we want to do is to bounce strategy and ideas off each other. Say, you know we hit a cap between us. We are all around in the same time or score of the game, and all of a sudden MrRubix here, “Oh crap, I figured out I can shave out 5 seconds of my time. He explains how to do it. Then, Zerris comes in and he shaves another 3 seconds off beyond that. Then he explains how he do it.
Tasselfoot:
Next stuff on our list of ways you can optimize is through score. And a thing about score is that almost always is based of some other metric or series of metrics, such as score based of from time, score based of from kills, score based of from multipliers and kills or scores based of from accuracy. All sort of different things but score by itself generally has no meaning or implementation by itself, which because of that makes it rather difficult to optimize or give good examples of ways of optimizing for scores.
MrRubix:
In most cases, games with score metrics are a sort of soft limits, even though there are couple of exceptions, but a good example of soft limit score metrics or score games would be something like Desktop Tower Defense 1.5. The maximum score for hard mode for example is somewhere around 10,600 or maybe a little bit higher than that. But the reason why we know that is because there is a certain score effect based on how quickly you send the enemy waves or how many lives you are able to conserve. Even though the game strategy is relies heavily on how you build your maze and how you conserve your cost. We know that there is certain realistic limit to how many enemy waves you can send at a given time and be able to survive. And we are able see this overtime through hundreds and thousand different people playing these games. For games like Desktop Tower Defense, the optimization relies entirely on how you manage your maze and your waves, but sometimes there are sort of hard limits. For example, you play the 100 mode in Desktop Tower Defense, there is a hard limit to it, because time has no bearing on your score. Its entirely of how many lives you have and how far you get. Another example of a hard limit game based on score would be something like Rhythm Fireworks 1 and 2 and the score in this game depends entirely on how long you can maintain your combo and so if you are able to hit every single arrow in this game, you will get the max score and there is really not no the bait there, you can’t do any better than that.
Tasselfoot:
As opposed to something like Stepmania where the goal is still to hit every single arrow but if you do that there still accuracy component whether you are hitting perfects or greats that to keep your combo up…
MrRubix:
Marvelous even
Tasselfoot:
Oh yeah… or and as well as that the score also depends upon where in the song you’re getting those perfects, marvelous, greats. If you get more perfects and marvelous later in the song those are worth more than the corresponding same number of arrows earlier in the song. So its definitely the only the hard cap
for there is getting, all of the marvelous or whatever highest score metric, your accuracy metric is, otherwise than that is your approaching that hard limit
and most songs on the game is basically impossible to achieve that hard limit.
Tasselfoot:
Moving on to 3rd on our list is move optimization. We talk about slightly with our Open Doors 2 for hard time but in this instance we are going to talk about puzzle games that has no time component at all, strictly moves, and generally speaking, moves optimization is going to be hard cap. There is going to be some perfect way of doing something in a puzzle game that will have the fewest number of moves.
MrRubix:
A good example of this that you might remember from a recent badge on Kongregate for example would be something like Exorbis 2. On Exorbis 2, the idea of the game is to sort of move all the orbs or spheres, or whatever people call them into the light receptacles. And there is a certain limit to each level called like the ace score for the minimum number moves to achieve that ace score. And in terms of optimization, we found that, this ace score are actually not always the best solution. There have been many times where will find a more elegant or shorter solution and completely shatter the ace score, minimum like the par, number for the ace score at a given level. Like for example, for the very last level, the autobyte and myself collaborated on moves optimization, we were able break the ace score by about a hundred fifty moves or something like that. Its was way blow. And the idea there is that, and again don’t go into a game assuming that a given limit is the best you can do, you can always try to find a better solution. And normally for puzzle games, with a limit such as this is especially useful to talk with other people and try to devise solutions and shortest path and those sort of thing. Lightbot would be another good example of a game that has some move limit component to it. In this game, hence the name the Lightbot, your bot, you move around trying to light blue squares, and the way you do this, you using a sort of functions in this game, with different types of movements, whether is moving forward, back, turning, lighting lightbulb whatever. And the, the fewest functions that you use, the fewest move macro you used, the better your score. And again, this is some sort of game where you definitely want to collaborate with others to try to figure out where you can cut corners and get rid of extraneous moves and things in that nature. For example, I work with Zeris and Fuble I believe his name, I’m sorry if I screwed that up. And the 3rd part as well, we are all sort of talking in the chat and trying to determine where we could sort of improve on each other methods. We sometimes would like come up with completely different ways of achieving a certain move cap on a level, but after examining each other solutions, we find interesting ways to do certain parts of it and integrate our solutions together and through sort of synergy of better solution.
Tasslefoot:
The same thing holds true for a game like Codex Chemical Engineering. Same exact principal. Very similar programming based game, so working with everyone else. And I know there is a huge, huge, huge threat from Kongregate. And a game like that have multiple different factors that you can optimize on through out time, number of functions used, 4 to 5 different metrics.

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